Riccarton Park – Canterbury JC 18 November 2023 – R6 – Sam Weatherley

ID: RIB29908

Sam Weatherley - Jockey

John Oatham, Chief Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie (Chair) and Stewart Ching

Persons Present:
The Applicant, the Respondent and Stipendiary Steward, Mark Davidson

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Riding

638(1)(d) - Riding/driving infringement


Animal Name:
Noble Knight


Race Date:

Race Club:
Canterbury Jockey Club

Race Location:
Riccarton Park - 165 Racecourse Road, Christchurch,

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Riccarton Park, Christchurch

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Class A Jockey, Sam Weatherley suspended 5 days


Following the running of Race 6, Bevan Laming 82 Today Premier, Class A Jockey, Sam Weatherley admitted a charge of careless riding in that, as the Rider of NOBLE KNIGHT in the race, he “allowed his mount to shift in when not clear of OPAWA JACK (Tegan Newman) which was crowded and checked near the 300 metres”.

Rule 638(1)(d) provides:

A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Adjudicative Committee considers to be careless.


Chief Stipendiary Steward, John Oatham, had Stipendiary Steward, Mark Davidson, show a video replay of the incident, approximately 300 metres from the finish of the 2600 metres race. Mr Davidson pointed out the two runners involved – NOBLE KNIGHT, ridden by the Respondent and OPAWA JACK, ridden by Tegan Newman. NOBLE KNIGHT was running on widest on the track with OPAWA JACK to its inside, both runners having clear runs at that stage. He then showed Mr Weatherley’s mount, being pushed forward, commence to shift in, as a result of which OPAWA JACK was crowded and had to be checked. Mr Davidson did say that OPAWA JACK did react poorly and overreacted when crowded, but the Respondent did shift in, he said.

The Respondent said that his mount was travelling well and going forward. OPAWA JACK was “battling” and had raced ungenerously and greenly throughout the race. It had run away from his mount, even before he began to shift in, he submitted. He felt his own mount shifting in and had done what he felt was the right thing, and put his whip in his left hand and tried to straighten it. Miss Newman had checked her mount out of it before he got anywhere near her, he submitted. The runner inside Miss Newman had shifted out slightly at the same time, he said. The run for Miss Newman had never fully closed, he said.

Mr Oatham said that Miss Newman had told the Stewards that she had received pressure from her outside, and that is why she had to take a hold of her mount and, when she did so, her mount did overreact.


The charge having been admitted, it is deemed proved.


Mr Oatham told the Adjudicative Committee of four previous breaches of the rule by the Respondent – on 4 February 2023 at Taranaki (Listed Race, 6 days, low-range) on 1 April 2023 at Manawatu (suspended 4 days, low-range breach) and again on 1 April 2023 (4 days, low-range breach), and, most recently, on 4 October 2023 at Tauranga (5 days, low-to-medium range).

The Respondent has had 430 rides in the last 12 months, Mr Oatham said. His record was starting to become of some concern, he said. Given that Miss Newman’s mount had reacted quite poorly, Stewards would assess the overall level of carelessness as, perhaps, just above low-range, Mr Oatham said.

After consideration, the Respondent said that he required a deferment of suspension until after the meeting of Southland RC on 22 November 2023.


The breach is assessed by the Adjudicative Committee as being low-to-mid-range careless riding. This assessment takes into account the actions of Miss Newman’s mount, on which the Stewards and the Respondent were agreed.

The starting point in the RIB Thoroughbred Racing Penalty Guide (February 2023) for a low-to-mid range breach is a 6-days suspension.

The Respondent’s riding record is not great, but the Adjudicative Committee is prepared, perhaps somewhat generously, to regard it as neutral. He has breached the Rule only once in the last 7 months. The Respondent is given a 1-day discount from the starting point for his admission of the breach. The term of suspension is, therefore, 5 days.


The Respondent, Class A Jockey, Sam Weatherley, is suspended for 5 national riding days to commence on 23 November 2023 and ending after the close of racing on 1 December 2023.

Decision Date: 18/11/2023

Publish Date: 20/11/2023