Waikato RC 18 December 2021 – R1 – Vinnie Colgan

ID: RIB6515

Vinnie Colgan - Jockey

Mr M Williamson – Senior Stipendiary Steward

Mr G R Jones

Persons Present:
Mr V Colgan – (Rider of ALIGHIERI), Mr M Williamson – Senior Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Riding

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


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Waikato Racing Club

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

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Te Rapa racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Jockey Vinnie Colgan is suspended for 6 National Days


This charge arises from the running of Race 1, the Lodge Property Management Mile. Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr Williamson filed an Information pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d) alleging the Rider of “ALIGHIERI (V Colgan) shifted out at the 375 metres crowding SHOCKATILLATAP (J Kamaruddin) out onto ON THE FIFTH AVE (J Fawcett) which was crowded and hampered”.

Mr Colgan acknowledged he understood the Rule and confirmed his admission of the breach.

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

Using the available race films Stipendiary Steward, Mr Robinson demonstrated the incident and identified the horses and Riders concerned; namely ALIGHIERI (V Colgan), SHOCKATILLATAP (J Kamaruddin) and ON FIFTH AVE (J Fawcett).

Mr Robinson told the Adjudicative Committee that in the run up the home straight near the 375-metre mark Mr Colgan, when looking for a run,  shifted his mount outwards onto SHOCKATILLATAP and as a result ON FIFTH AVENUE was hampered.  Mr Robinson said that the outward movement of Mr Colgan’s mount was not abrupt and Mr Kamaruddin initially resisted the outward pressure.  He said that both horses made contact and both became badly unbalanced making the incident look far worse than it actually was.

Mr Robinson said that Mr Colgan was no more than ¾ length clear of SHOCKATILLATAP when shifting out.

In response, Mr Colgan using the race films pointed out that for most of the race his mount was racing greenly and over-reacted to horses on its inside causing it to turn its head outward and shift on its own accord.  He demonstrated that his mount continued to race greenly for the whole of the home straight to the winning post.

In response to questions from the Adjudicative Committee, Stewards agreed that the racing manners of Mr Colgan’s mount were a factor.  Also, SHOCKATILLATAP fell shortly after the incident and Stewards confirmed that a number of factors contributed to the fall and this charge was not influenced by or intended as a means to hold Mr Colgan accountable for causing the fall.


As Mr Colgan admitted the breach the Adjudicative Committee found the charge proved.

Submission for Penalty:

Mr Williamson produced Mr Colgan’s riding record which indicated 5 previous breaches under the Careless Riding Rule in the last 12 months.

18/09/21 at Hastings – 7 days suspension + $350

29/05/21 at Ellerslie – 4 days suspension + $350

07/03/21 at Ellerslie – 4 days suspension + $300

16/01/21 at Wellington 7 days suspension

26/12/20 at Ellerslie – 4 days suspension + $600

Mr Williamson submitted Mr Colgan does not have a good record, this being his sixth breach in 12 months.  He said Stewards assessed the level of carelessness to be in the low range.  He added that there are a number of mitigating factors in Mr Colgan’s favour, but ultimately, he forced a run that did not exist and continued to ride forward when he should have pulled his mount back.

Mr Colgan sought a deferment to any proposed suspension until after racing on 26 December 2021. He offered no submissions in relation to penalty other than pointing out that any proposed suspension would inevitably include the Group 1 meeting at Ellerslie on New Year’s day which in itself is a penalty.

Reasons for Penalty:

After considering the submissions and reviewing the race films the Adjudicative Committee assessed Mr Colgan’s level of carelessness to be in the low range and adopted a 5-day suspension as the starting point. This is in conformity with the NZTR Penalty Guide.

The available films clearly established that Mr Colgan allowed his mount to shift in when no more than ¾  length clear of SHOCKATILLATAP. The Adjudicative Committee agrees with the submissions that Mr Colgan’s mount was racing greenly. After his mount made contact with SHOCKATILLATAP Mr Colgan made some effort to straighten his mount but it was far too late.

Mr Colgan’s riding record is poor, this being his sixth careless riding breach in 12 months. This is an aggravating factor for which a 1-day uplift is applied to the starting point and no reduction is given for his guilty plea.

After considering the above factors the Adjudicative Committee deemed that an appropriate suspension was 6 (National) Days.


The Adjudicative Committee granted Mr Colgan a deferment to his suspension pursuant to Rule 1106(2). Accordingly, his Licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 6 days commencing after racing on 26 December 2021 and concluding after racing on 2 January 2021.


Following the hearing Mr Colgan asked if the Adjudicative Committee would consider a 4-day suspension and large fine.  This was declined.  At this time of the year with major races pending Riders must take extra care and be mindful that any breaches may result in them missing lucrative riding opportunities over the Christmas / New Year racing period.

Decision Date: 19/12/2021

Publish Date: 20/12/2021