The International Racing Regulatory Conference Committee of RCI held its first meeting yesterday and called for a review of RCI Model Rules pertaining to urging in Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, and Harness Racing.
The committee, chaired by Doug King, the Director of Racing for the Saskatchewan Liquor & Gaming Authority, expressed a desire that RCI adopt the current rule of the Ontario Racing Commission as an international model.
“The Ontario approach has been considered before and the belief is that now that it has been in practice without problem RCI should reconsider adopting it as an international standard,” RCI President Ed Martin said, noting that organizations representing the jockeys in the U.S. have in the past resisted the Ontario approach.
Martin noted, however, that Ontario was very deliberate by involving riders and drivers as well as other aspects of the industry in discussions that resulted in the enactment of their current rule.
The main difference between the current Model Rule and the Ontario approach is that the Ontario rules more clearly define the maximum arm movement by drivers and jockeys, requiring that the elbow be kept both below the shoulder and in front of the driver in harness races and that the entire riding crop be kept below the shoulder for jockeys in flat races.
The next meeting of the Committee will occur on March 23, 2011 in New Orleans at the La Pavillon Hotel during the RCI annual conference.
Those interested in attending can find registration information at http://www.arci.com.