As far as possible, when they are issued. This is a change for 2018; we are doing away with the penalty urtuus. This means that the leader is always the leader. It also means that a penalty will literally stop you in your tracks, adding back in a delicious tactical element of the Derby. Your riding partner sails through the vet check. You don't. Now what? Until this year you had up to 400kms to talk about it, and figure out what you'll do with that 2 hours. No longer.
"As far as possible?"
There may be reasons to roll up your penalty and have you serve it at a later station, or even added on at the end of the race.
If you are travelling very slowly, for example, we the crews will be concerned about your ability and opportunity to finish, and ride the full 1000kms. In that case we will encourage you to ride on and adjust your finishing time accordingly.
You may be a lone lady rider out the back. Rather than have you 2 hours away from the nearest other rider, and requiring your own dedicated veterinary support, we may encourage you to rode on to stay in a pack for your own safety, enjoyment and logistical contribution to the event.
In HQ we are endlessly calculating when urtuus will be ready to shut down and when the vet teams can be moved. That's all scuppered if riders are suddenly staying put several hours longer than expected and tying up a whole team to sign them off. So, we may require you to ride on and serve a penalty later if keeping you at the urtuu would pole-axe the afternoon's racing for everyone else because we lose a vet to sitting with you for 2 hours.
Late riding penalties are served the morning after they are incurred with a late departure. They will commence at racing hours commencement, 6.30am.
Veterinary penalties are served as soon as the horse has failed the vet; if it's pulse then this will be 30 minutes after your arrival at the urtuu. If it's lameness, as soon as you arrive and fail the trot-up. Your horse may be treated during that 2 hours, or even longer. If you are needed as a vet nurse, to hold a drip for example, the vet may detain you longer than 2 hours. This isn't a penalty, this is just you not being "a dick". Work with the vets to help the horses. You can leave when they say you are free to take another horse and ride on.
If there are not enough racing hours left in the day for you to finish serving your penalty, you will finish serving it the following morning.
We'd expect everyone to serve their penalties in real time for the first few days of the Derby; once the field is spread over 300kms we will adjust for common sense and the good of the field as a whole.