Rotorua-BOP HC 22 August 2023 – R5 – Hilary Fleming

ID: RIB26503

Hilary Fleming - Other (Amateur Rider)

Mr B Jones - Senior Stipendiary Steward

Hon J W Gendall KC

Persons Present:
Mr B Jones, Ms H Fleming

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Used whip free of the rein

638(3)(i) - Contravention whip rule


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Rotorua Racing Club

Race Location:
Arawa Park Racecourse - 274 - 287 Fenton Street, Glenhome, Rotorua, 3010

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Amateur Rider Hilary Fleming is fined $100


Following the running of Race 5, the “Zero 2100 Automotive, One Stop Automotive Parts & Flair Inc 1950, Mr Jones presented an Information charging Ms Fleming with a breach of Rule 638(3)(i), in that she used her whip on her mount, “KOOLASCUZ”, free of the rein on one occasion near the 350 metre mark.

Ms Fleming admitted the charge.

This was a race for only Amateur Riders.  As a consequence, Rule 638(3)(i) applied.  It provides that:

“In a race for Amateur Riders Only, the whip may not be used in the drawn position.  It may only be used in a slapping motion down the shoulder with the whip hand remaining on the reins”.

Mr Jones demonstrated from the race films that when approaching the home turn, Ms Fleming struck her mount possibly with the whip, not by a slapping motion with the whip hand holding the reins.  This occurred on one occasion.

Ms Fleming frankly acknowledged the error, that she was aware of the Rule’s restriction on an Amateur Rider’s Race and she said she made a mistake, but knowing of the Rule and that after she had offended on the one occasion, she ceased doing so.


As the charge was admitted, it was deemed proved.

Submissions for Penalty:

Mr Jones advised that this offence was at the lower end but deterrence of others was important.  Other sanctions referred to in the NZTR Guide are not applicable to offences under Rule 638(3)(i) for Amateur Riders.  But a modest fine was necessary.  Ms Fleming has no previous breaches.

Ms Fleming advised that she had been riding as an Amateur for 18 years without blemish and that this was her first ride after about 3 years as she had been injured some time ago.  She accepted that she had to face consequences for her actions.

Reasons for Penalty:

Levels of fines and/or suspensions recommended for Professional Riders are not applicable for Amateur Riders as the offending is different, prohibiting any “strikes” and the Rider’s actions are judged from fact specifics.  They don’t relate to the number of strikes but the use of the whip in a slapping, not striking, motion with hands held on the reins.  As explained to Ms Fleming, any penalty is not aimed solely at punishment (although obviously this may follow), but it is necessary to deter other Amateur Riders, all of whom are aware of the Rule as it applies to them, from similar breaches.  They have to be aware that real sanctions – not just warnings – will be the result from such breaches.  A fine has to be imposed but the mitigating factors of:

(a)  There was only one prohibited strike.

(b)  Ms Fleming’s long unblemished good history.

(c)  Frank acceptance of her mistake, although momentary, was knowing of the Rule’s restrictions.


Ms Fleming is fined $100.

Decision Date: 22/08/2023

Publish Date: 23/08/2023