At first when I saw this I thought ‘Good on the Stewards. They’ve realised that they’ve missed something and had been professional enough to acknowledge their omission and remedy it.
Then I read it.
It’s an absolute and utter load of nonsense.
Chief Steward Joshua Adams is trying to be clever and explain away the errant deficiencies in his stewarding generally, and his flagrant disregard for his absolute duty to safeguard the welfare of all animals involved in racing (quote, unquote from the Racing Integrity Act).
What Adams is doing here is simply giving Whiteley a miserable $200 fine for an obscene act of animal cruelty that he let him get away with for nothing ten days ago.
It’s a shame that the man in charge of integrity in Rocky doesn’t seem to:
(a) know the rules of racing;
(b) understand how to apply a rider’s previous infringement history when determining sentence for subsequent rules breaches;
(c) have any real interest in protection of the welfare of racing animals;
(d) know how to watch a race replay; or
(e) none of the above, and something a whole lot worse.
The Rules of Racing
Rule AR 132(6)(2)(a) is simple and clear.
This is what it says.
A rider must not use their whip forward of the horse’s shoulder or in the vicinity of its head – that’s not overly hard to understand, is it?
It doesn’t say it’s okay for a jockey to whip a horse forward of their shoulder, does it?
The rule says that it is not okay.
So why does Chief Steward Joshua Adams believe that it is?
Houston, we have a problem.
This Steward doesn’t know the rules.
How can he possibly do his job?
It’s like having a driving instructor who doesn’t know how to drive, or a pilot who doesn’t know how to fly.
Previous Infringement History
Chris Whiteley is a regular repeat offender when it comes to breaching the whip rules.
He breached them in Cairns on the 30th of April and was fined $100.
He breached them again on the 14th of May in Cairns and was fined $100.
And then he breached them again at the meeting in Rockhampton on the 13 of June.
Three breaches in six weeks, and Chairman of Stewards Adams claims that Chris Whiteley has a clear record in relation to this rule over a long period, and takes this into account when letting him get away with abject animal cruelty performed right in front of his very eyes and there on the race replay for the whole world to see.
What the hell?
Of course Adams is being cute and claiming – without saying as much – that Whiteley’s two very recent convictions were for breaches of rule AR132(7)(a)(ii) Thou shalt not beat a horse more than 5 times before the 100 mark, rather than breaches of this charge laid under AR132(6)(2)(a) Thou shalt not lift your arm up to the sky and over your shoulder and smash your horse as hard as you possibly can using the full force of your weight.
Excuse my language, but that’s bullshit.
Forget all the 6’s and 7’s and a’s and roman numerals.
These are all just subsets of rule AR132 – Limits on the use of a whip by a rider.
AKA, the Whip Rules.
Convictions for breaches of different sub-provisions of the rule cannot be disregarded for the purpose of determining sentence on any breach of the rule – they must all be taken into account.
If a thug has 2 convictions for Grievous Bodily Harm, and then gets found guilty of a charge of Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm, the judge doesn’t ignore his previous history when sentencing him, just because they are different provisions under the banner of Offence Against Person.
Just a killer with 2 murder convictions who subsequently gets done for manslaughter doesn’t get their two heinous crimes ignored by the sentencing judge, even though they are different sub-sets of the Offences Against Liberty.
The idea is preposterous, just as Chairman Adams interpretation of the whip rule is.
What the hell is going on here?
I know, I know Sir!
Someone is giving themselves up.
I wonder what’s going to happen later in the day?