STAR apprentice Chad Schofield was suspended for 27 meetings 

STAR apprentice Chad Schofield has been suspended for 27 meetings after being found guilty at Caulfield of improper riding.


Schofield, the leading apprentice in Victoria, is the first jockey to be charged with improper riding since Kane Bradley two years ago.


Bradley was suspended for one calendar month, but Schofield received a five meeting ‘discount’ for his guilty plea.


Schofield has now been suspended nine times since October 1 last year and has missed 112 meetings.


Racing Victoria stewards charged Schofield with deliberately riding his mount into that of Kolokotronis, ridden by Chris Symons after passing the 1400 metres.


Stewards said Schofield made contact with Symons’ mount and forced it off its course.


Schofield said the incident was not as severe as at Werribee in December and claimed that no horse had to check or became unbalanced.


He added that Symons in his evidence admitted he went to the fence.


Robert Cram, who chaired the meeting, told Schofield the charge is deemed more severe than careless riding and consequently brings with it a higher penalty.


Cram said the appropriate penalty was a one month suspension, which he said equated to 32 meetings, but stewards shaved off five meetings for Schofield’s guilty plea.


Steward Sam Cochrane said Schofield rode Friday Hussy, eventual winner of the Wellington R.C. Handicap, in a manner near the 1400 metres that forced Chris Symons’ mount Magical King into the running rail.


Cochrane said he heard Symons yelling out to Schofield and there was contact between the horses more than once.


Symons said he didn’t really want to go to the fence, but that as where he ended up due to the pressure applied by Schofield over a period of more than 100 metres.


Asked by chief stewards Robert Cram if he was put towards the fence, Symons replied: “pretty much.”


Schofield told stewards that he wanted to “test the water” when he rode alongside Symons as he didn’t want to e caught three deep.


“It’s clear what happened. I niggled my horse alongside Chris Symons. I tested the water to see if he would have gone to the fence,” he said.


“As it turned out Chris goes back to the fence and no horse was unbalanced.”


Asked by Cram if he was entitled to ride in such a manner, Schofield replied: “No, but I just tested the water for a little bit.”