R Te Aroha 5 September 2021 – R7 – Erin Leighton

ID: RIB4442

Respondent(s):
Erin Leighton - Apprentice Jockey

Applicant:
Mr Brady Jones - Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Mr Noel McCutcheon

Persons Present:
Ms Leighton, Ms S Collett assisting Ms Leighton, Ms Algar, Mr Jones

Information Number:
A15927

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Excessive use of whip

Rule(s):
638(3)(g)(i)

Plea:
Not Admitted

Code:
Thoroughbred

Race Date:
05/09/2021

Race Club:
Racing Te Aroha

Race Location:
Te Aroha Racecourse - Stanley Road South, Te Aroha,

Race Number:
R7

Hearing Date:
05/09/2021

Hearing Location:
Te Aroha Race Course

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Apprentice Jockey Erin Leighton is suspended for 5 days

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Following Race 7 Ms E Leighton was charged with striking her mount TURRET more than 5 times prior to the 100m.

EVIDENCE:

Ms Algar showed the film replays and identified where Ms Leighton had struck her horse 6 times with the whip.  She said that the first strike was on the shoulder with Ms Leighton’s whip hand free of the rein.  On the still-frame she said that you could see contact had been made and that the whip was bent.

Ms Leighton did not question Ms Algar.

Ms Leighton said that she went to hit the horse on the shoulder but withdrew and did not make any contact. She said that she had changed her mind and that  her hand came back to the rein.  She was adamant that she did not strike her horse on the shoulder as was alleged by the Stewards.

Ms S Collett said that Ms Leighton had said it all and that she did not have anything to add.

SUMMATION:

Mr Jones said that it was obvious that the horse had been struck 5 times and in his opinion the horse had been struck on the shoulder once earlier on.  He added that under the Rule the horse had been struck 6 times prior to the 100m.

Ms Leighton said that the whip was bending but that she did not have any intention to hit the horse.  She maintained that she did not hit her horse on the shoulder.

REASON FOR DECISION:

After considering all of the evidence and close scrutiny of the film replays, the Adjudicator was of the opinion that Ms Leighton had struck her mount 6 times prior to the 100m.  The alleged first strike, that was disputed by Ms Leighton, was shown on the slow frames and still-frame to have made contact with the horse’s shoulder whilst the whip hand was off the rein.

DECISION:

The charge preferred under Rule 638(3)(g)(i) was upheld.

SUBMISSION FOR PENALTY:

Mr Jones provided Ms Leighton’s record under the Rule that showed 3 prior breaches in the last 6 months;  05.06.21 – $300 fine, 10.07.21 – $500 fine, 07.08.21 – 5 days suspension.

He said that the Penalty Guide starting point for such a breach is a 5 riding day suspension.

Ms Leighton said that any suspension imposed could start after 11 September 2021.

REASON FOR PENALTY:

The Adjudicator did not see any reason for a departure from the starting point; hence a 5 riding day suspension was imposed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Ms Leighton’s Apprentice Jockey’s License was suspended from 11 September up to 19 September 2021 inclusive (5 riding days).

Decision Date: 05/09/2021

Publish Date: 07/09/2021