Australian Harness Racing Rules 126-146
Starting

Please Note:   All forms mentioned in the Rules are available from State Controlling Bodies. 

Please Note:  On 1st March 2008 Harness Racing Australia Inc (HRA) replaced Australian Harness Racing Council Inc (AHRC) as the organisation's name.  All AHRC's formal structures, rules, regulations, policies, processes etc., now pertain to HRA, and any reference to Australian Harness Racing Council Inc, AHRC, Council or The Council shall mean Harness Racing Australia Inc or HRA.
 

Appointment

126.  (1)  The Controlling Body or the club conducting a meeting shall appoint a starter.

(2)  An appointment of a starter by a club must be approved by the Controlling Body.

Starters

127.  A list of the horses competing in a race and their handicaps shall not less than 60 minutes before the appointed time for the race be supplied to the starter by the club or other body conducting the meeting.

128 (1)   Subject to the following provisions of this Rule, all horses drawn up behind the mobile barrier or standing start barrier are starters in the race regardless of their positions.

(2)  Subject to Rule 15(2) the Stewards may declare a horse a non-starter and a late scratching if in their opinion the horse has failed to participate in the start and its driver has made every effort to ensure that it participated in the start.
 

(3)  For the purposes of Sub-rule (2), a horse is deemed to have participated in a mobile start when it is facing the mobile barrier and the mobile barrier starts to move.

(4)  For the purposes of Sub-rule (2), a horse is deemed to have participated in a standing start when it has faced the standing start barrier when directed to do so by the starter.

129.  The Stewards shall, after consulting with the starter, determine any question concerning whether a horse has been started for a race.

How horses drawn up

130.  (1)  As far as practicable horses shall be drawn up before the start according to their handicaps.

(2)  Horses on the same mark shall be drawn up in their barrier positions.

(3)  The Chief Steward shall determine the number of horses to start in any line.

(4)  If there are too many horses to form one line, outside draws will be placed as close as practicable behind the front line.

(5)  Drivers shall not permit their horses to deviate from their barrier positions during the score up of a mobile start.

(6)  During the score up of a mobile start the starter may give such directions as in the starter's opinion would be conducive to a fair start.

Barrier positions

131.  Barrier positions shall be filled at the time and in the manner determined by the Controlling Body.

132.  (1)  Subject to sub-rules (2) and (3), if at any time after publication of a barrier draw in any race an apparent error is found in the barrier position of a horse the draw shall remain unchanged.

(2)  The barrier position of a horse in any race may be changed so long as it is practicable to do so.

(3)  If the barrier position of a horse in a race is to be changed, the Controlling Body shall determine the correct barrier position of such horse by random draw from the barrier positions available to that horse and the horse previously drawn in such position and all horses drawn outside that horse shall then move out one barrier position.

133.  (1)  If at any time after publication of a selected race field, it is found that a horse has been omitted in error from the field the Controlling Body may determine that the horse omitted in error be included in the field so long as it is practicable to do so.

(2)  Notwithstanding rule 132, if a horse is included in a race field pursuant to sub rule (1) the Controlling Body may determine the correct barrier position of such horse by random draw from the barrier positions available to that horse and the horse previously drawn in such position and all horses drawn outside that horse shall then move out one barrier position.

Outside draw

134.  (1)  Where the Stewards are of the opinion that the behaviour of a horse at the start has affected its chances of winning a standing start event or has affected the chances of another runner, they may make the horse outside draw stands (ODS) for such period as they think fit and may require it to requalify for standing starts.

(2)  Should the horse offend in the same manner thereafter the Stewards may ban the horse from competing in standing start events.

(3)  A horse while ODS shall be drawn in outside barrier positions in standing start events.

(4)  If a horse behaves intractably in the score up of a mobile start or at the start or within a reasonably short distance from the start the Stewards may exclude it from the barrier draw (ODM) for such period as they think fit and require it to requalify for mobile starts.

(5)  Should the horse offend in the same manner thereafter the Stewards may ban the horse from competing in mobile start events.

(6)  A horse while ODM shall be drawn in outside barrier positions in mobile start events.

(7)  If a horse is made ODS or ODM after the draw for barrier positions in a race has been completed such horse shall be placed on the outside of the line in which it is drawn.

134A.  (1)  Where a horse is required to requalify pursuant to sub rule (1) or (4) of Rule 134 the Stewards may issue a notice in terms of Form R134-A and give it to the trainer or authorised agent.

(2)  The trainer or authorised agent, after reading the requirements specified in the notice, shall sign it.

(3)  Each trainer having control of the horse during the requalifying period shall sign the notice.

(4)  The notice, duly completed, shall be returned to the Stewards after completion of the required trials or races.

Starter’s orders

135(1)  Unless otherwise determined by the Controlling Body or Stewards, horses competing in a race shall parade in the area designated by the Stewards not less than twelve minutes before the appointed time of the race.

(2)  Horses competing in a race shall be on the track not less than 7 minutes before the appointed time for the race.

(3)  Horses shall move to their allotted barrier positions on the blow of the starter’s whistle or as otherwise signalled.

(4)  Once on the track drivers are under starter’s orders and remain so until the race is started.

(5)  A driver, trainer, or other person who fails to have his or her horse in the relevant place by the times mentioned in sub rule (1) or sub rule (2) or fails to drive to the correct barrier position on the blow of the starter’s whistle or as otherwise signalled, is guilty of an offence.

(6)  This rule does not affect the powers of the Stewards conferred by these rules.

136.  (1)  The starter may give such orders and take such measures as the starter considers necessary to secure a fair start.

(2)  The starter shall report to the Stewards any driver who disobeys the starter's orders, starts before the signal or from the wrong barrier position, takes an unfair advantage at the start, or otherwise appears to the starter to have infringed these rules.

Positioning horses

137.  A horse rehandicapped for a standing start race after the barrier positions are determined shall be positioned on the outside of the horses on the same handicap mark but on the inside of horses excluded from the barrier draw.

138.  (1)  The starter may reposition a horse which is misbehaving and is thereby in the starter's opinion likely to prevent a fair start, provided the handicap mark of the horse is not thereby altered.

(2)  Where the starter acts under sub rule (1) the remaining horses on the same handicap mark shall have their positions correspondingly adjusted, but they are not to be placed in another line.

139.  If a driver informs the starter that a horse has been placed in the wrong position the starter shall not start the race until the Stewards on being informed by the starter have determined the correct position.

Horse causing delay

140.  (1)  If in the opinion of the starter a horse is likely to cause delay at the start, the starter shall warn the driver but not delay the start and may recommend to the Stewards that the horse be declared a non starter.

(2)  If the Stewards accept a recommendation made under sub rule (1) they shall also declare the horse a late scratching.

False start

141.  (1)  In mobile start races the starter may declare a false start if at or before the starting point a horse causes interference to another runner, falls, breaks gear or scores up in front of the gate.

(2)  Where a horse offends in the first score up resulting in a false start, it will remain in its allotted position for the subsequent score up.

(3)  In standing start races the starter may declare a false start if the starter considers a horse’s prospects in the race are adversely affected by any incident that occurs immediately prior to or at the time of start.

(4) If a horse causes two (2) false starts through its own intractability, it is automatically withdrawn and declared a late scratching.

Starts

142.  Races shall be run from mobile starts unless the Controlling Body or Chairman of Stewards otherwise approves.

Approvals

143.  (1)  Unless the Controlling Body otherwise directs or permits all races shall be started by means of a starting barrier approved by the Stewards and which functions to their satisfaction.

(2)  The Stewards shall record details of their approval including, where applicable, the make, motor vehicle registration number, name of operator and width of track on which barrier and vehicle is permitted to be used.

144.  (1)  The starting points of mobile start races shall be approved by the Stewards.

(2)  Starting points shall be clearly marked by prominent markers on the inside or outside of the track.

Offences

145.  (1)  A person with a direct or indirect interest in the ownership of a horse or otherwise being one of its connections shall not act as starter in a race in which that horse is competing.

(2)  A person who fails to comply with sub rule (1) is guilty of an offence.

146.  (1)  A person who is not the starter, operator or someone authorised by the Stewards, shall not mount or ride on the starting gate.

(2)  A person who fails to comply with sub rule (1) is guilty of an offence.

 

PLEASE NOTE:
Rules Effective from 1st September 1999 (State Controlling Bodies must adopt)
Rules Approved - 16th March 1999 (AHRC Meeting)
 

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