Waikato RC 20 November 2021 – R9 – Sam Weatherley

ID: RIB5984

Respondent(s):
Sam Weatherley - Jockey

Applicant:
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Hon J W Gendall QC

Persons Present:
Mr J Oatham, Mr S Weatherley, Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:
A17157

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Used whip in two consecutive strides over concluding stages

Rule(s):
638(3)(g)(i)

Plea:
Not Admitted

Code:
Thoroughbred

Race Date:
20/11/2021

Race Club:
Waikato Racing Club

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

Race Number:
R9

Hearing Date:
20/11/2021

Hearing Location:
Te Rapa Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Jockey Sam Weatherley is fined $800.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Following the running of Race 9, the Te Rapa Tavern Mile, Mr Oatham presented an Information charging Mr Weatherley with a breach of Rule 638(3)(g)(ii), which provides that: A Rider “must not strike a horse with a whip in consecutive strides at any stage of the race.”

The Information alleged that Mr Weatherley “struck his mount MALI STON in two consecutive strikes over the concluding stages” [of the race].

Mr Weatherley did not admit the breach of the Rule.

MALI STON won the race by a narrow margin (a long head) and earned a stake of $31,625.

SUBMISSIONS:

Mr Weatherley said that he accepted he “made a mistake “and had struck his mount in two consecutive strides, but contended that he was past the finish line when he made the second contact, so he believed the race had finished. The Committee remarked to Mr Weatherley that, even if what he said was correct, it would not arraign him as Rule 638(f)(v) makes it an offence to use the whip “after passing the winning post” and if necessary the charge would be amended.

REASON FOR DECISION:

But the Committee accepts the opinion evidence of Mr Oatham as to his interpretation of the race film.  There clearly were 2 consecutive strikes in the closing stages of the race, the second being right on, but not past, the finish line. The charge was proved.

SUBMISSION FOR PENALTY:

Mr Oatham advised that Mr Weatherley has a clear record over the last 6 months for any breach of the Whip Rules, although he has had one warning.  He is an experienced and successful Rider.  The unfortunate outcome for Mr Weatherley arises because his mount won the race with $55,000 and gained a stake of $31,625.  The Penalty Guide gives the Steward the discretion to charge (because of the previous warning) on the “same basis (for penalty purposes) as there being 3 consecutive strikes”. The Guide provides for “the greater of a $150 fine or 50% of the Jockey share of the stake.”  If MALI STON had been unplaced the penalty would have only been $150 but, to Mr Weatherley’s misfortune it (and he) earned a significant amount, so the proper sanction for him should be 50% of his share of the stake.

REASON FOR PENALTY:

The obvious intent of the Guide is to provide a deterrent to all Riders from breach of Whip Rules in lucrative races where stake earning percentages are obtained.

CONCLUSIONS:

Accordingly, Mr Weatherley is fined $800 being 50% of his share ($1,600) of the winning stake.

Decision Date: 20/11/2021

Publish Date: 22/11/2021