South Canterbury RC 24 April 2024 – R4 – Brandon May

ID: RIB41346

Brandon Chad May - Jockey

Veronica Algar - Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Using Whip with arm raised above shoulder height

638(3)(f)(ii) - Contravention whip rule


Animal Name:
Tellme You Loveme


Race Date:

Race Club:
South Canterbury Racing Club

Race Location:
Phar Lap Raceway - State Highway 1, Washdyke, Timaru,

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Class A Jockey, Brandon May, fined $400


Following the running of Race 4, Hospitality New Zealand (SC Branch) Mile, Class A Jockey, Brandon May, admitted a breach of Rule 638(3)(f)(ii) in that, as the Rider of TELLME YOU LOVEME in the race, he “used his whip above shoulder height on a number of occasions throughout the final straight:

Rule 638(3)(f)(ii) provides:

(f)      Without limiting the generality of subrule 638(3)(e), in a Flat Race or Jumping Race, a trial (including jump-outs and/or tests for certification purposes) a Rider must not use his or her whip:

(ii) using an action that raises the Rider’s arm above shoulder height. 


Stipendiary Steward, Veronica Algar, showed video replays of the final 300 metres of the race. She pointed out TELLME YOU LOVEME, ridden by the Respondent, racing 4-wide and challenging for the lead as the field turned into the final straight. Ms Algar then showed that, in the home straight, the Respondent used his whip on five clear occasions, using an action that raised his arm above shoulder height, in breach of the Rule.

The Respondent accepted the alleged number of five. He said that, riding this particular horse, he focused on staying low down and he was caught out on this occasion when he tried to keep his body low. He believed that the strikes above shoulder height were the result of his changing his riding style, and he would be aware of this in the future, he said.


The breach having been admitted, it is deemed proved.


Ms Algar said that the Respondent has one previous breach of the Rule on his record – at Riccarton on 18 January 2024, three times, fined $250. She referred to the Penalty Guide which, she pointed out, does not provide a starting point for a second breach of the Rule. She submitted that the Adjudicative Committee might have regard to the Penalty Guide starting point for a second breach of other parts of the Whip Rules (using whip more than five times prior to the 100 metres and using on consecutive strikes), which is a fine of $500.

The Respondent asked the Adjudicative Committee to take into account that he had only used his whip that number of times during the entire race. Ms Algar agreed, but pointed out that every use of the whip had been above shoulder height.


Ms Algar correctly pointed out that the RIB Thoroughbred Racing Penalty Guide (March 2024) makes no provision for a second breach involving using an action that raises the arm above shoulder height. This may be an anomaly but, in its absence, it must be assumed that it has been left to the Adjudicative Committee’s discretion, based on the circumstances of the particular case.

It is relevant to consider, in this case, the totality of whip use – five strikes in total. None of the five strikes were delivered with any excessive force and they were well-spaced. Having regard to those factors and the Respondent’s admission of the breach, the Adjudicative Committee deems a fine of $400 to be the appropriate penalty.


Class A Jockey, Brandon May is fined the sum of $400.

Decision Date: 24/04/2024

Publish Date: 26/04/2024