Taumarunui RC 30 July 2022 – R2 – Stephan Karnicnik

ID: RIB10331

Stephan Karnicnik - Jockey

Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward

Hon J W Gendall QC (Chair), Mr B Mainwaring

Persons Present:
Mr B Jones, Mr A Dooley - Stipendiary Steward, Mr S Karnicnik

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Did not retire horse from race when not in contention

638(5)(b) - Riding/driving infringement


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Taumarunui Racing Club

Race Location:
Te Rapa Racecourse - Te Rapa Road, Hamilton, 3200

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Te Rapa

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Jockey Stephan Karnicnik is fined $500


Following the running of Race 2, the STEWART BROWNE MEMORIAL HURDLE race, Mr Jones presented an Information charging Mr Karnicnik with failing to retire his mount RED RACKET from the race “when it was not in contention”.

Rule 638(5)(b) provides (where relevant): that a Rider in a Jumping Race must retire his …horse in the Race, immediately if ….

(d)  the horse is not in contention and/or is fatigued.

The Informant’s case was that RED RACKET was completely out of contention (that is being a long last on turning into the home straight so as to not have any chance of attaining any placing in the 11 horse field), and the Rule placed an obligation on the Rider to retire the horse from the contest.

Mr Dooley identified from the race films that Mr Karnicnik’s mount RED RACKET, whilst running last commenced to drop away from the field at about the 1000 metres point.  Upon the field entering the straight, with 3 hurdles left to jump, RED RACKET had been detached from the 2nd last horse by many lengths.  Three horses of the remainder of the field, (MAJOR TOM, MIGHTY COLOMBO, and AFITUSI), which were many lengths in front of RED RACKET, (running 8th, 9th, 10th) were retired from the race before jumping the 3 hurdles in the straight.  Being out of any contention, their Riders met their obligations under the Rule.  Mr Karnicnik however did not.  He proceeded to continue in the race, by jumping the last 3 fences (at times when the remainder of the field were at least at a distance of a further fence ahead).  RED RACKET finished a distant last, 61.4 lengths from the winner.

Mr Karnicnik said that his mount was not tired, but one paced and that he was intending to educate it.

But as Mr Karnicnik admitted the charge it must follow that he accepted his mount was out of contention (which was obvious) and could not possibly have finished in any place other than last.


As Mr Karnicnik admitted the charge, it was deemed proved.

Submissions for Penalty:

Mr Jones submitted that to his knowledge there was no record of an Adjudicative Committee having to previously deal with a charge under this Rule.  However, Mr Karnicnik had recently been warned on 18 June 2022 when appearing to breach this Rule.  He submitted that this was an “animal welfare” related Rule, and a breach of it required a stern fine at least.

Mr Karnicnik did not advance penalty submissions other than to say that he was educating the horse which was not tired.

Reasons for Penalty:

This Rule is framed so as to impose a mandatory obligation on Riders (it uses the word “must”) in ‘jumps’ races.  It is designed to ensure that a horse which engages as a competitor in such races, must not be required by its Rider to continue in such race when clearly they are out of contention (that is not having any chance of successfully gaining a dividend earning place).  It will be a question of fact, which will include the expert opinion of those who are knowledgeable about such racing matters, whether such a criterion exists where, as here, a horse has been fairly tired during the race, but a point has been reached when no realistic chance exists for the horse to be competitive, it must be retired from the race.


Given the previous recent warning given to Mr Karnicnik, and the need to signal to Jumps Riders and the community, that animal welfare issues will be strictly enforced, a fine of $500 is imposed.

Decision Date: 30/07/2022

Publish Date: 01/08/2022