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Jack Darling's Blog


Whipless racing

Published: August 16, 2016 1:51 pm ET

Last Comment: August 19, 2016 2:04 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

I recently read on Rideau Carleton's condition sheet that there would be some discussion on racing an afternoon card without the drivers using whips.

I found this alarming and feel compelled to give an opinion on it.

Several years ago when we enacted our new whipping rule, I was a strong supporter of the limited use of the whip that we have now. As strongly as I supported that, I feel even more so that a driver must be allowed to carry a whip in a race for practical reasons and most importantly for safety reasons.

A whip is a training tool used to keep your horse moving forward. A driver needs to carry one in case their horse gets spooked when warming up or during the race to keep the horse moving forward to avoid an accident. I almost always carry a whip with me when training my two-year-olds. Warming up a green two-year-old at the racetrack could be very hazardous if you didn't have a whip when they were frightened by all the new sights.

Whipless racing might sound appealing on the surface but based on my experience it is impractical and very dangerous. I urge the judges to vigorously enforce the urging rules that we have in place today.

Jack Darling

The views presented in Trot Blogs are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

August 19, 2016 - 2:04 pmAbsolutely agree with Jack,

Norm Brunet SAID...

Absolutely agree with Jack, enforce the present rules of whipping and several others. ie. Drivers chatting away while warming up. Integrity is everything in this industry.

August 16, 2016 - 10:19 pmWhipless harness racing

Paul Keith SAID...

Whipless harness racing sounds to me like it would be about as beneficial as hammerless carpentry. While I understand that there is an increasing element of our culture who tend to ridicule anything that remotely resembles aggression, they also typically know very little about harness racing and why the whip is a part of the sport. I certainly oppose hurting the horses, however there are already rules and regulations in place to ensure the well being of the equine athletes.

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