Apprentice jockey suspended for careless riding

Jockey Megan Taylor was killed during a race in Ashburton. Photo: Supplied via NZ Herald
Jockey Megan Taylor was killed during a race in Ashburton in December last year. Photo: Supplied via NZ Herald
An apprentice jockey has been suspended for six weeks after a panel ruled she rode carelessly in a race in which fellow jockey Megan Taylor died.

Taylor, a 26-year-old apprentice jockey, died in a fall after horses collided and fell in a race in Ashburton on 15 December.

In January, apprentice jockey Denby-Rose Tait was charged with careless riding during the race, and her case was heard by a Racing Integrity Board adjudication committee on Tuesday.

The case was not directly related to Taylor's death, and it hinged on whether Tait had made a deliberate careless movement with her horse on the track, or if her horse had reacted to contact from another rider.

Witnesses that gave evidence to the committee included another jockey who was in the race, Kavish Chowdhoory.

Tait denied the charge of careless riding. But after assessing evidence, the committee ruled the case had been proved, and the degree of carelessness was in the medium range.

Tait was given a suspension of six weeks, commencing on 10 March.

She initially faced a seven-week suspension, but the committee's chair, Jane Lovell-Smith, said the decision took mitigating factors into account, such as Tait's youth and inexperience.

A statement read to the committee at the end of the hearing from Taylor's father said seeing his daughter get thrown off the horse and killed was something he could never erase from his mind.