Following on from Chairman’s Update No.2, the first set of the Whip Free trials were held at Carrick, Tasmania on Saturday May 6.
HRA wishes to thank Tasracing for their assistance and the Drivers’ Representative, Barrie Rattray for his involvement.
During the three trials at Carrick, four cameras were used for footage review purposes, and each driver was interviewed for each individual runner and a corresponding questionnaire form was completed.
The form detailed each driver’s views of the draft rule in practice, the safety device prototype that was used, the performance of their horse under the draft rule and prototype device in terms of ‘finding the line’, as well as the safety impacts for both the horse and driver.
The trial steward also provided his feedback on the three trials from his perspective.
The questionnaire forms, driver and trainer’s comments, stewarding comments, along with the footage of the trials will be collated, reviewed and reported with the addition of feedback from tonight’s trials at Hobart.
In regards to the safety device prototype, from the feedback received it was clear that the device trialled at Carrick was too heavy, cumbersome and too long.
Accordingly, it was agreed that for the trials held at Hobart on May 8, that a lighter and shorter device be trialled in accordance with the draft rule.
HRA and the Chairman will report back to the industry in due course with a summary of the feedback and outcomes from both sets of Tasmanian trials along with an outline of the next steps.