Wellington RC 13 January 2024 – R6 – Opie Bosson

ID: RIB37599

Opie Bosson - Jockey

Mr J Oatham

N Moffatt and B Mainwaring

Persons Present:
Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward, Mr O P Bosson

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Consecutive whip use

638(3)(g)(ii) - Contravention whip rule


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Wellington Racing Club

Race Location:
Trentham - 10 Racecourse Rd, Upper Hutt, 5018

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Trentham Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Jockey Opie Bosson is suspended for 5 days and fined $3,500


Following the running of Race 6, the Respondent Mr O P Bosson, admitted a charge alleging he struck his mount QUINTESSA in three consecutive strides.

Rule 638(3)(g)(ii) provides that in a Flat Race a Rider must not:

(ii) strike a horse with a whip in consecutive strides at any stage of the race.

Using the available race films, Stipendiary Steward Mr Oatham demonstrated that the Respondent struck his mount 3 times consecutively over the concluding stages of the race. QUINTESSA won the race by a long head.  


As Mr Bosson admitted the breach, the Adjudicative Committee finds the breach proved.

Submissions for Penalty

Mr Oatham produced Mr Bosson’s record, which indicated he received a warning on December 26th (Pukekohe) for 2 consecutive strikes and a $550 fine was imposed on January 1st for a further breach, where he again applied the whip consecutively.

He submitted a penalty in line with the NZTR Revised Penalty Guide, which provides for a suspension of 5 national days when a Rider is facing a 3rd breach and 3 consecutive strikes. When asked for the Stewards’ opinion on the application of fines in Black Type Races, Mr Oatham’s opinion was that the imposition of a 50% penalty on Mr Bosson’s stake earnings seemed excessive, when applied in conjunction with a 5-day suspension. Mr Oatham was unable to recall any precedent cases involving Riders facing a third whip charge for consecutive strikes.

Mr Bosson advised of confirmed riding commitments through until Wednesday January 17th at Te Rapa and said any suspension could begin after that.

Reasons for Penalty

The Adjudicative Committee carefully considered all submissions.

Distinct sub-rules exist for cases of excessive whip use and consecutive whip use, each delineating specific penalties. The Penalty Guide governing consecutive strikes of whip stipulates penalties ranging from warnings and minor fines, to suspensions lasting 5 or more National Days.

Mr Bosson’s breach (for 3 consecutive strikes and a third offence) lands on the starting point of a 5-day suspension (no accompanying fine).  Mr Bosson’s 50% share of the stake was approximately $7,000, and if his record was such that the Guidelines provided for a fine only, the Adjudicative Committee would have imposed that amount. The Adjudicative Committee however, adopted the Penalty Guide starting point of a 5 day suspension.

An aggravating factor was the Group 1 status of the race, a race Mr Bosson won, and the Adjudicative Committee considered it appropriate to impose an additional monetary penalty in addition to the suspension. This was set at $3,500.

The Adjudicative Committee was cognisant that the suspension includes the Iconic Wellington Cup day next Saturday and concluded that the final penalty was a fair and balanced reflection of the breach.


Mr Bosson’s Licence to ride in races is suspended for 5 days, from close of racing on Wednesday January 17th,  until close of racing on Thursday January 25th.

In addition, a fine of $3,500 is imposed.

Decision Date: 13/01/2024

Publish Date: 15/01/2024