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Crop Penalties – Make Sense?

Khumalo fined R3500 and R1000 within 24 hours

Former SA champion jockey S’manga Khumalo’s dual crop related penalties over the past weekend appear inconsistent at face value.

S'manga Khumalo (credit: hamishNIVENPhotography)

S’manga Khumalo (credit: hamishNIVENPhotography)

‘Bling’ was fined R3500 on Saturday at Turffontein and R1000 at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday – both times for infringing the same twelve-strikes rule.

He won both races and the Turffontein Stipes refer to his recent ‘poor track record’ and the fact that he won the race – something the Greyville Stipes don’t do when, 24 hours later, he gets R1000 for contravening the same rule.

And what happened to his ‘poor track record’ in Sunday’s assessment?

The excerpt from the Stipes report of Race 9 at Turffontein on Saturday:

Jockey S Khumalo signed an Admission of Guilt and was fined R3 500-00 for contravening Rule 58.10.2 (read with Guideline M on the use of the crop) in that he hit the horse CHRISTMAS FLOWER more than 12 times in the entire race.

When assessing the penalty, the Board took into account the excessive number of strikes (19 strikes), the fact the he won the race, as well as his recent poor record with regards to a contravention of this Rule and Guideline.

The excerpt from the Stipes report of Race 1 at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday:

Jockey S Khumalo signed an admission of guilt for a contravention of Rule 58.10.2 read in conjunction with Guideline M, in that whilst riding TREADING WATER he used his crop more than 12 times in this race. The Board in determining the penalty considered the manner in which the crop was used and his recent riding record. He was fined R1000.

We asked NHRA Racing Control Executive Arnold Hyde to elaborate on the apparent inconsistency applied by the Stipes in the two provinces, only 24 hours apart.

“If you view the patrol film of Race 1 at Greyville on Sunday, you will see Jockey Khumalo used his crop 14 times over the final 400m, all in the backhand and the crop was not drawn. We always look at two factors in every case – namely the manner in which the crop is used and then the rider’s record. In Sunday’s case the use of the crop exceeded the permitted 12 strikes due to a few double, backhand flicks,” said Hyde.

He added that each case is assessed on its own particular merits.

“A penalty for a contravention is imposed relevant to the circumstances of each case after considering the manner how the crop was used and the rider’s disciplinary record,” he commented in closing.

Our question remains – what happened to the relevance of his past record – which was exacerbated by Saturday’s offence – and the fact that the horse also won, when  assessing Sunday’s penalty?

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8 comments on “Crop Penalties – Make Sense?

  1. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Phumelela is Broke. Gold Circle is Not 😂

    Nice to see Bling back winning again 👍

  2. Edwin Smalburg says:

    The point is that before the unnecessary rule change, no-one would have blinked an eye had the jockey used the crop 14 and 19 times in a race.
    The only one interested in the 12 strike rule is the jockey club. Seriously, does the payment of a fine make the horse feel better or the jockey club and its financial position.
    On the flipside, had the jockey followed the 12 strike rule, the horses he rode may not have won. Good for the jockey!

    I suggest that every jockey should get an indemity from the owners for whom he rides. Should he breach the 12 strike rule and the horse runs in the first four, the owners must reimburse him the fine. The jockey club is already a joke. Making a mockery of them me get them to rethink their rules and not be simple minded.

  3. Jonathan Shaw says:

    It’s a pathetic joke !!!

  4. Paul says:

    1. Permitted number of strikes exceeded, so guilty per the Rule – a type of strict liability. 2. Standard practice then to look at both mitigating and aggravating circs. Sometimes the mitigating circs are so strong as to totally outweigh the aggravating circs, as is apparently considered the case in Greyville “technical infringement”. 3. Proof of proper excercise of disctretion in arriving at suitable penalty – or the NHRA having made a rod for its own back by creating a “strict liability” offence in the first place (a trend worldwide)?

  5. Pops says:

    Five years ago Khumalo was handed a 60 day suspension for in part in the final 500m of a race he failed to ride with his normal vigour and determination.
    And now he does exactly that and pays R 4 500 in fines

  6. Marcelle says:

    I’m sure the owner will cover that fine especially if the horse places or comes first, for me who has the right to say 12 strikes is enough if that’s the case, don’t allow striking at all…

  7. Marcelle says:


  8. Nico says:

    Really pleased for Smanga though, seems to be getting back to his best. In my opinion, in the country, there’s no stronger rider in the saddle than him.

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