VIC - HRV Stewards Industry Notice - Feature Race Meetings

03 October 2022

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards urge all industry participants to review the following reminders with the feature race meetings commencing:

Increased Penalties in Feature Races

In accordance with the HRV Minimum Penalty Guidelines, HRV Stewards advise that ‘Feature Races’ are deemed to be events of $30,000 prizemoney or greater. Therefore, should a licensee offend under an applicable Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) in a feature race, an increased penalty may apply.

Arrival Times

All horses engaged at the Tabcorp Park Melton race meeting on Saturday, 8 October 2022 are required to be presented oncourse no later than 2 hours prior to the advertised start time of their respective engagement.

Whip Use

All drivers are reminded to familiarise themselves with the provisions of AHRR 156(2)(a) and 156(3) and the HRV Stewards interpretation of such.

AHRR 156(2)(a) states:

156. (2)(a) A driver shall only apply the whip in a wrist only 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.

(b)  For the purposes of sub-paragraph (a), “wrist only flicking motion” means: -

      (i)   Ensuring no force is generated by the use of the elbow or shoulder when applying the whip.

      (ii)  The forearm is not raised beyond forty-five degrees relative to the racing surface.

      (iii) Not applying the whip with overt force.

For demonstration of the required whip action please see the below video example:

Link to HRA Video - Whip Rule Implementation and Associated Requirements

Rule 156(3)

AHRR 156(3) states:

156. (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;

      (ii)  cannot maintain or improve its position;

      (iv) is clearly winning;

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

Please note that in accordance with the provisions of Rule 156(3) the HRV Stewards will continue to police this rule when drivers utilise the whip on more than 20 occasions in the final 200m, which will be considered to be using the whip excessively and or continuously.

HRV Race Day Treatment Policy

In accordance with the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR), HRV Stewards remind licensed participants of the HRV Race Day Treatment Policy. For further advice or information in relation to the associated requirements, contact the HRV Integrity Department or consult your veterinarian.

Horse Parade Requirements

Trainers are reminded of the requirement to have their respective horses presented to the parade ring 15 minutes prior to the advertised start time of a race. This to ensure that as an industry we can maximise the impact of the increased television coverage.

Participant Dress Standards

All licensed persons are reminded of the HRV Minimum Dress Standards to ensure the industry is portrayed in as professional light as possible.


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