HRA Members Approve Whip Rule Amendments

21 June 2018

Harness Racing Australia (HRA) Members today approved amendments to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 156 relating to Whips.

The amendments to AHRR 156 have been extensively debated and shaped by HRA Members, Stewards, HRA Executive (the Board) and industry representatives across a range of various forums since early 2017, leading to the unanimous vote of Members to approve the rule as it appears below:


156. (1)    (a)    A driver shall only use and be in possession of a whip approved by the Controlling Body.

         (b)    A whip, once approved -

                   (i)     shall not be modified in any manner;

                   (ii)    shall be maintained in a satisfactory condition;

         (c)    A whip that does not comply with sub-paragraph (b) may be confiscated by the Stewards.

(2)    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.

(3)    A driver shall not use a whip in an unapproved manner.

(4)    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.

         (b)    If the whip is applied when the horse:-

                   (i)     is not visibly responding;

                   (ii)    is not in contention;

                   (iii)   cannot maintain or improve its position;

                   (iv)   is clearly winning;

                   (v)    has passed the winning post at the finish of a race.

         (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.

(5)    A driver shall not use the whip in a manner which causes injury to a horse.

(6)    A whip shall not be used so as to obstruct, strike or endanger another driver or horse.

(7)    A driver shall not allow a whip to project outside the sulky.

(8)    A person who fails to comply with any provision of this Rule is guilty of an offence.

While it now rests with each State Controlling Body (SCB) to adopt, implement and communicate the amendments, it is the intention that this rule uniformly take effect from 1 September 2018.

For more information, please contact Andrew Kelly on 03 9227 3004.


Related News

23 November 2020
Preparing you and your horses for fire season
As another spring comes to an end and summer is fast approaching, the risk of fire danger is increased. Therefore, it is an important time to review and update your fire plan to adequately prepare for the months ahead. Remember that your management will change in the event of a fire and knowing your...
23 November 2020
Industry note: Updated COVID-19 protocols
As a result of State Government announcements on Sunday 22 November 2020, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) advises changes to the current biosecurity protocols at all Victorian race meetings. These changes are effective immediately:
19 November 2020
HRV online declaration form to improve race-day sign-in process
Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has developed a new online version of the declaration form attendees to race meetings must complete in line with Government contact tracing requirements. The new online system is designed to streamline the process and improve current race-day check-in procedures. CLICK HERE...
17 November 2020
Participant Dress Code – Qld Summer Carnival
As the TAB Summer Carnival approaches, it is a timely opportunity to remind participants of the required dress standard at Saturday night meetings. RQ in conjunction with the Albion Park Harness Racing Club are looking for participant support to assist raising the profile and image of the sport in Queensland....
4 November 2020
Change to Horse Naming Policy
Following a review of internal naming policies, the Harness Racing Australia (HRA) Executive have approved a change to the horse naming procedures. Effective immediately, horses may be now named at any stage from the time in which they are registered according to Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR)...
Click for more