Rotorua-BOP HC 22 August 2023 – R7 – MI AMIGO

ID: RIB26522

Stephen Ralph - Trainer

Ms P Gerard - Trainer of CHANCELLOR

Hon J W Gendall KC

Persons Present:
Ms P Gerard - Trainer of CHANCELLOR, Mr H McNeill - Rider of CHANCELLOR, Mr S Ralph - Trainer of MI AMIGO, Mr K Wiles - Rider of MI AMIGO, Mr B Jones - Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr A Dooley - Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:

642(1) - Riding/driving infringement


Interference in the final straight

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: Protest Upheld

Penalty: MI AMIGO is relegated from 1st to 2nd and CHANCELLOR is promoted from 2nd to 1st


Following the running of Race 7, the “Rotorua & Bay of Plenty Hunt Landowners Hwt 1400”, Ms P Gerard, Trainer of the second placed horse “CHANCELLOR”, lodged a protest against Mr S Ralph as Trainer (and on behalf of Connections) of “MI AMIGO”, the first placed horse, alleging that “MI AMIGO” interfered in the home straight with the chances of “CHANCELLOR”.

The Judge’s placings were:

1st         MI AMIGO

2nd        CHANCELLOR


4th         PANIC AND RUN

5th         EL PASO

Submissions for Decision:

Mr Ralph submitted that his horse had simply “followed CHANCELLOR across”, and although there was minor contact, it was only a “brush very slightly”.  Mr McNeill never had to stop riding and “CHANCELLOR” would not have beaten his horse.

Mr Jones provided his interpretation of the race films and referred to “MI AMIGO” shifting in to make contact with “CHANCELLOR” 75 metres from the finish.

Reasons for Decision:

After hearing evidence and submissions from the parties (Trainers of both horses), Mr McNeill and Mr Wiles, and viewing the several race films (side, head and rear on), and the evidence of Mr Jones, the Adjudicative Committee upheld the protest.  It found that “MI AMIGO” had within Rule 642(1), caused interference to “CHANCELLOR” which, if such interference had not occurred, would have finished ahead of “MI AMIGO”, and in the exercise of the Adjudicative Committee’s discretion, revised the Judge’s initial placings and placed “CHANCELLOR” ahead of “MI AMIGO”.

A summary of the reasons for the Decision follow. As the field entered the home straight, “CHANCELLOR” was contesting the lead and about 5-6 horse widths out from the rail.  Mr Wiles, riding vigorously as he was entitled to do, rode “MI AMIGO” up and to the outside of “CHANCELLOR” when insufficiently clear.  That horse ended up about 3 horse widths from the rail.  At about between the 75 and 100 metre point, the inwards movement of “MI AMIGO” resulted in it coming into contact with “CHANCELLOR”, to momentarily hinder it by pushing it off balance.  Both horses went to the line in a “fighting head bobbing” finish, with “MI AMIGO” finishing a nose (and by a very fine margin) ahead of “CHANCELLOR”.


As the Adjudicative Committee mentioned to the parties, the Protest Rule 642(1) requires that:

(a)   A placed horse or Rider causes “interference” to another place horse, and

(b)  The Adjudicative Committee is of the opinion that the latter horse would have finished ahead of the former horse had such interference not occurred.

(c)  The Adjudicative Committee then has the discretion to place the offending horse immediately after the horse interfered with.

“Interference” for the purpose of Rule 642, is defined when relevant, as a horse crossing another horse when not the required distance clear or “jostling” another hose, where no other horse is at fault.

In this case, there was clearly “interference” within the Rule.  Apart from the rightful line of “CHANCELLOR” being dictated by “MI AMIGO”  in its inward shifting, when not sufficiently clear, the contact that occurred close to the finish did interfere with the chances of “CHANCELLOR”.  The two horses were in a close battle to the finish and the very fine margin of a nose – was only several inches.

After weighing up all the evidence, visual and otherwise, submissions of the parties, and opinion evidence of Mr Jones, the Adjudicative Committee was satisfied by a wide margin that but for the interference, “CHANCELLOR” would have beaten “MI AMIGO” in terms of Rule 642 and it was proper to exercise its discretion and relegate the latter behind the former.

Accordingly, the Judge’s placings were:


2nd     MI AMIGO


4th      PANIC AND RUN

5th      EL PASO

Decision Date: 22/08/2023

Publish Date: 23/08/2023