Taranaki RI 16 September 2023 – R6 – Gareth Lahoud

ID: RIB27473

Gareth Lahoud - Apprentice Jockey

Mr Neil Goodwin - Senior Stipendiary Steward

Mr Bruce Mainwaring, Mrs Nicki Moffatt

Persons Present:
Mr Neil Goodwin - Senior Stipendiary Steward, Ms Veronica Algar - Stipendiary Steward, Ms Kim Clapperton (assisting), Mr Roger James (assisting), Mr Lahoud.

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Riding

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


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Taranaki Racing Inc

Race Location:
New Plymouth Raceway - Rogan Street, New Plymouth, 4310

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
New Plymouth Racecourse 1 Wogan Street New Plymouth 4310

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Apprentice Jockey Gareth Lahoud is suspended 5 NR days.


Following the running of Race 6 ‘Hel Rimu’, Respondent Mr Gareth Lahoud admitted a charge of careless riding filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d).

Details of the breach is as follows:

‘in that he allowed his mount to shift inwards in the back straight when not clear of Librarsi and Gurtlyn, which were both dictated inwards into the line of The Witch with all runners being tightened.’

Rule 638(1)(d) provides: A rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Adjudicative Committee considers to be careless.

Mr Lahoud confirmed that he understood the Rule and admitted the breach. This was endorsed by Ms Clapperton.


Using available film, Stewards demonstrated the incident and horses involved.

Within approximately 200 metres of leaving the gates, WHATANIGHT is 4 – 5 horse widths off the fence and to his inside, are LIBRARSI (Mr Triston Moodley), GURTLYN (Mr Masa Hashizume) and DROP OF SOMETHING (Mr Hamish McNeill). On looking to improve and cross, WHATANIGHT is insufficiently clear, causing tightening. GURTLYN is worst affected losing 2 lengths, with the tightening of this runner affecting the chances of THE WITCH (Mr Darren Danis), who is also checked.


The charge having been admitted, is deemed proved.

Submissions for Penalty:

Stewards submitted that the level of carelessness sat at the mid to upper mid range and referred to the current Penalty Guideline. Mr James was present to assist Mr Lahoud. The Respondent is not indentured to Mr James, however he does ride work for him and has been retained in trials. Mr James commented that he was only having his 2nd ride, needed encouragement and hoped any suspension would reflect this.  Mr Lahoud sought deferment of any suspension imposed to satisfy riding engagement at Rotorua on 24th September 2023.

Reasons for Penalty:

After consideration, the Adjudicative Committee determined Mr Lahoud’s careless to sit mid range. His actions clearly affected the chances of 3 runners. Whilst acknowledging inexperience, penalty must reflect a requirement to sanction riding that affects runners’ chances and perhaps more importantly, risks horse and Rider safety. A starting point of 6 days was adopted as a starting point. This conforms with NZTR Penalty Guidelines. Given admission of the breach, a 1 day reduction is deemed appropriate. A suspension of 5 National Riding days is therefore imposed.


The Respondent’s request for deferment is granted with his Licence to ride in races suspended from the close of racing on 24th September 2023, up to and including 1st October 2023 – 5 National Riding days.

Decision Date: 16/09/2023

Publish Date: 18/09/2023