Waikato RC 21 May 2022 – R7 – Jonathan Riddell

ID: RIB9159

Jonathan Riddell - Jockey

Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward

Mr G R Jones

Persons Present:
Mr Oatham, Mr Riddell, Mr B Jones, V Thomsom (Observer)

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Riding

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


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: Rider, Jonathan Riddell suspended for 5 days.


Following the running of Race 7, the Respondent, Class A Rider Jonathan Riddell admitted a charge of careless riding which was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d).  The Information alleged  that as the Rider of “HIGH CHOICE (J Riddell), he permitted his mount to shift outwards when not sufficiently clear of SHOCKATILLATAP which was checked near the 150 metres”. 

Mr Riddell 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 Judicial Committee considers to be careless.

Using the available race films Stipendiary Steward, Mr B Jones demonstrated the incident and identified the horses and Riders concerned.

Mr Jones said that approaching the 150-metre mark Mr Riddell’s mount was racing directly behind the leader and eventual winner BLOOD DIAMOND.  He pointed out that Mr Riddell rode forward to get to the outside of BLOOD DIAMOND and continued to shift outward.  He said that in doing so he shifted into the running line of SHOCKATILLATAP (K Asano) who was on his outer.  At the time of the shift, he was barely a length clear of SHOCKHATILLATAP who had to be checked and lost ground.

In response, Mr Riddell stated that he was racing in behind BLOOD DIAMOND and his mount was racing greenly.  He said that he tried to angle off the hind quarters of BLOOD DIAMOND and was not aware that Mr Asano’s mount was on his outer.  He said that Mr Asano called out to him after the shift.  He added the breach was minor because his shift was for one stride only and reiterated that he had “no idea” Mr Asano was on his outer.


As the Respondent admitted the breach the Adjudicative Committee finds the breach proved.

Submission for Penalty:

Mr Oatham produced the Respondent’s riding record which indicated 3 previous breaches under the careless riding Rule in the last 12 months, namely:

18/09/21 – Hastings 8 days + $1200 – Group 1 Race

09/11/21 – Te Aroha 5 days

01/12/21 – Rotorua 5 days

Mr Oatham submitted that although this is Mr Riddell’s fourth breach since September 2021 it is first breach since December 2021.  He said that Mr Riddell has had 442 race rides in the past 12 months and is regarded as a busy Senior Rider.

He said Stewards assessed the level of carelessness to be in the low range.

Mr Riddell advised that he has commitments up to and including the meeting at Avondale on 25 May 2022 and sought a deferment to any proposed suspension. He offered no other submissions as to penalty.

Reasons for Penalty:

After considering the submissions  the Adjudicator determined the Respondent’s carelessness to be in the low range and adopted a 5-day (suspension) as the starting point. This conforms with the NZTR Penalty Guide (as of 1 March 2022).

The available films clearly established that the Respondent shifted out when he was not sufficiently clear of SHOCKATILLATAP.  It was particularly evident that SHOCKATILLATAP’s Rider, Mr Asano had to take a strong hold of his mount after being checked.  The check was reasonably severe albeit the outward movement of Mr Riddell’s mount was not abrupt.  SHOCKATILLATAP lost ground after being checked and finished in third place and HIGH CHOICE was second. This is a consequence that was factored into the decision.  It was Mr Riddell submission that it was a minor shift and he was not aware that Mr Asano was on his outer.  That may be so, but Mr Riddell is a very senior and experienced Rider and he will well know that he has an obligation to ensure that there are no horses on his outer before shifting ground.

This is the Respondent’s fourth breach within eight months and although his riding record is treated as a neutral factor, he cannot be afforded a 1-day reduction for his combined admission and record because it cannot be said that he has a good riding record under the Rule.

After consideration of the above factors a 5-day suspension was imposed.

Mr Riddell raised a query as to why he was not entitled to a one-day penalty reduction for his admission of breach.   It was explained to him that an admission of a breach does not necessarily result in a 1 (or more) day penalty reduction. An admission of a breach does not automatically trigger a reduction and it is not an entitlement albeit it is often applied.  Adjudicative Committees, on a case-by-case basis generally take into account the circumstances of the breach; Riders’ culpability; the consequences to any other horse or rider as well as an admission and rider’s record.  In this case, as highlighted above,  in the judgement of the Adjudicative Committee Mr Riddell’s record combined with his admission and the circumstances of the breach was not sufficiently compelling to afford him a one-day reduction from the starting point.

Conclusion – Penalty:

Mr Riddell’s Licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 5 days commencing after racing on 25 May 2022 and concluding after racing on 2 June 2022.

Decision Date: 21/05/2022

Publish Date: 23/05/2022