Wednesday, 17 August 2016 14:46

Directive No. 085-2016 - Standardbred

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The Rules Governing Horse Racing in Alberta, Chapter 3: General Horse Racing Rules,

Part 6 Standardbred Racing Division 7 Driving Rules.

The following Rule 458 s and Directive No. 082 - 2015 is AMENDED as follows:


Rule 458 s Obligations of driver

1. A driver violates these rules if the driver

a. fails to obey the starter's instructions;

b. wilfully backs off the starting gate after having been in position;

c. allows another horse to pass needlessly on the inside, or commits any other act that helps another horse to improve its position;

d. takes up or slows up in a manner in front of other horses so as to cause confusion or interference among the trailing horses;

e. lays off a normal pace and leaves a hole when it is well within the horse's capacity to keep the hole closed;

f. drives in a careless, reckless or unsatisfactory manner;

g. fails to set or maintain a pace comparable to the class in which the driver is racing, considering the track conditions, weather and circumstances in the race;

h. fails to properly contest an excessively slow pace having regard to the horse's ability , track conditions, weather and circumstances confronted in the race;

i. backs off from any position and subsequently comes on when challenged;

j. fails to report an interference or any other infraction that occurs during a race and was noticed by the driver;

k. lodges a claim of foul, violation of these or any other rules, objection or complaint which the judges board considers frivolous;

I. drives a horse in a manner that prevents the driver from winning a race;

m. drives a horse to perpetrate or aid in a fraud or corrupt practice;

n. drives a horse in an inconsistent manner;

o. uses a whip exceeding 3 feet 9 inches in length plus a snapper that is longer than 6 inches in length, or is of a colour not clearly visible and acceptable to the board of judges;

p. uses a whip or crop in a brutal, excessive or indiscriminate manner;

q. kicks a horse or allows their foot to come into contact with a horse by having their foot out of a stirrup;

r. uses a whip to interfere with or cause disturbance to any other horse or driver;

s. strikes a wheel disc with a whip.


2. Whipping violations

a. The use of the whip shall be confined to the areas above and between the sulky shafts, The one handed use of the whip shall be limited to the striking of the shafts of the sulky or the saddle pad ;

b. Using the whip in a one handed striking motion when, in the opinion of the judges, it does not appear that the horse is advancing its position in the race or is not in contention;

c. Any blatant or exaggerated movements of the whipping arm which will result from raising the elbow above the driver's shoulder height or allowing the hand holding the whip to reach behind the driver while striking with the whip;

d. Whipping under the arch or shafts of the sulky, using the whip as a goading or poking device, or placing the whip between the legs of the horse;

e. Whipping after the finish of the race;

f. Causing visible injury to the horse by leaving welts, cuts or other marks resulting from the use of the whip;

g. Excessive use of the whip is prohibited and one handed whipping is restricted as follows:

a. Drivers are prohibited from using the whip in a one handed striking motion from the start of the race until the horse reaches the ¼ mile pole .

b. From the 1/4-mile pole until the horse reaches the 7/8 mile pole, the driver may strike the shaft of the sulky or saddle pad in a one handed motion for maximum of 3 strikes, but must pause after each strike (no repetitive whipping).

c. Once the horse has reached the 7/8 mile pole, the driver may, in one handed motion, strike the shaft of the sulky or the saddle pad in a reasonable and responsible manner, no more than 3 strikes.


(The term "Striking the horse" or "one handed striking motion" shall not be construed as to mean a light tapping with the whip, at any point in the race, while maintaining a line in each hand.)

Any person found in violation of this Rule will be subject to penalties as contained in and authorized by Horse Racing Alberta.


Rule 458 s and Directive No. 182 - 2015 previously stated:

(q) (deleted) butt ends, punches, or jabs a horse;

(t) (deleted) uses a whip

(i) On or below the level of the shafts or the seat of the sulky;

(ii) between the legs of the horse, or

(iii) in an unconventional manner;

(v) {deleted) fails to keep a hand in each hand hold from the time the horses are called for the race by the starter until the finish of the race. The hand holds must be adjusted so the lines are tight at all times. Whipping is limited to wrist action with minimal shoulder and elbow movement.


Dated at the City of Edmonton in the Province of Alberta this 15 day of August, 2016

Rick Lelecheur, Chairman
Horse Racing Alberta

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