Day At The Track

New Whip Rules (Effective 1 September 2018)

07:30 AM 14 Aug 2018 NZST
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Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards provide the information contained within this industry notice to outline to all industry stakeholders the manner in which the newly formed ‘whip rules’ will be interpreted and applied from 1 September 2018, the date on which these rules take effect.

Whilst the majority of the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 156 are self-explanatory, HRV Stewards provide the interpretations below to assist participants and provisions of AHRR 156 which are not included below should be taken to be interpreted as per the plain reading of the rule.

HRV Stewards wish to draw the attention of all industry persons, including owners, to the provisions of AHRR 156B(1) which states:

“A person shall not instruct or offer an inducement to a driver to use a whip in a manner contrary to the provisions of Rule 156.”

Relevant Rules and HRV Stewards Interpretation

AHRR 156(2) states:

“A driver shall only apply the whip in a flicking motion whilst holding a rein in each hand with the tip of the whip pointed forward in an action which does not engage the shoulder.”

HRV Stewards Interpretation, includes but is not limited to:

  • Drivers must maintain a rein in either hand at all times when applying the whip.

  • Once a drivers whip hand is not pointing forward the HRV Stewards will deem the tip of the whip not to be pointed forward.

  • Should the drivers whip hand be raised above shoulder height when the whip is applied it will be deemed to be engaging the shoulder.

  • The whip should only be applied with a flicking motion.

AHRR 156(3) states:

“A driver shall not use a whip in an unapproved manner.”

HRV Stewards Interpretation:

Drivers will be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner, including but not limited to, when the whip is used in a manner contrary to any provision of AHRR 156(4).

AHRR 156(4)(a) states:

“For the purposes of sub-rule (3) a driver shall be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner in the following circumstances which are not exclusive:-

(a) If the whip is applied excessively, continuously and/or without allowing the horse time to respond.”

HRV Stewards Interpretation:

Drivers will be deemed to have used the whip excessively, continuously and/or without allowing the horse sufficient time to respond, including but not limited to, when the whip is used on more than twenty (20) occasions over the final 200m. This is regardless whether the whip is striking the horse or the sulky.

AHRR 156(4)(c) states:

“For the purposes of sub-rule (3) a driver shall be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner in the following circumstances which are not exclusive:-

(c) If the reins are lengthened so as to result in loose reining regardless of whether the whip is being used at the same time. “

HRV Stewards Interpretation:

Loose reining will be interpreted as follows:

- Loopy shaking of the reins;

- Lengthening of the reins which allows the driver to apply the whip with more force;

- The reins and drivers hands being lifted above the drivers shoulders.

 

Penalty Guidelines

To afford drivers sufficient time to adjust to the rule amendments the following minimum penalty guidelines will apply from 1 September 2018 – 31 October 2018:

Minimum Penalty Guidelines 1 September 2018 – 31 October 2018

156(2)

1st Offence:  Caution*

2nd Offence: Minimum $200 fine

3rd Offence: Minimum $400 fine

4th Offence: Minimum 2 Week Suspension of licence to drive in races

156(3)

1st Offence:  Caution*

2nd Offence: Minimum $100 fine

3rdOffence: Minimum $200 fine

4th Offence: Minimum 7 Day Suspension of licence to drive in races

All drivers offence records will reset on 1 October 2018 and 1 November 2018.

*Where the HRV Stewards form an opinion that the driver has not attempted to comply with the rule a penalty greater than the advertised minimum may be applied.

From 1 November 2018 the following minimum penalty guidelines will apply:

Minimum Penalty Guidelines 1 November 2018 onwards

156(2)

1st Offence: Minimum $200 fine

2nd  Offence: Minimum $400 fine

3rd Offence: Minimum 2 Week Suspension of licence to drive in races

156(3)

1st Offence: Minimum $100 fine

2nd Offence: Minimum $200 fine

3rd Offence: Minimum 7 Day Suspension of licence to drive in races

A drivers offence record shall reset 28 days from the date of the most recent offence.

*Where the HRV Stewards form an opinion that the driver has not attempted to comply with the rule a penalty greater than the advertised minimum may be applied.

 

The HRV Stewards will continue to speak advisedly to those drivers who are identified prior to 1 September with a whip action that requires modification to comply with the new rule.

All drivers are advised to take note of the below animation for guidance on the appropriate whip action.


 

 

HRV

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