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Roy To 3R For Final Whipless Sunday

Published: November 23, 2018 10:25 am ET

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Canada's leading money-winning and dash-leading driver Louis-Philippe Roy will make his return to Hippodrome 3R for its closing day program Sunday, Nov. 25 while also taking part in the final 'whipless' racing program of the season.

“I was pleased when I heard that the Quebec Jockey Club were making efforts to adapt the sport to today’s reality,” Roy said. “And I wanted to support and participate in trying to find the best for all of us.

“In the best of all worlds, our sport wouldn’t require a whip and by the way, the whip wouldn’t be a problem for the image of our sport," Roy also said. "On the other hand, it is possible that it is essential to the good functioning of harness racing, and if so, use of the whip should be strictly framed and minimized, in order to please a maximum of possible future fans.”

Other drivers that competed last Sunday without whips had this to say:

Stephane Gendron said “I’m going to live with it, no problem.”

Pierre Luc Roy said “It's a habit to get used to not having a whip. Some moments with the mount that you took advantage of using a whip you now must drive it differently. One thing is, we are all equal in every race without a whip.”

Pascal Berube was not positive about the experiment. “Very bad,” Berube said. “All of the drivers drove with their lines down and it’s very dangerous.”

Even some race fans commented:

“I have more than 55 years as a fan and gambler. Races without whips are very good," said André Germain of Trois-Rivières. "It brings a different strategy to the races. The drivers must work with the horses to bring out the strength in them. It did affect my wagers negatively because the drivers must adapt to the horses now.”

Paul, from Trois-Riveres said, “I have been following racing all my life, about 60 years now. I am not in favour in racing without whips. I do not want to see anyone hurt a horse, but I know the drivers need to have a whip with them to only stimulate the horse and make it pay attention.”

On a final note, Louis-Philippe Roy is ready to go “whipless” on Sunday. He has nine drives on the 10-race card.

“Like the other drivers that tried it last week, I will be in a better position after competing on Sunday," Roy said, "to give my opinion and recommendations on what would be the best decision for our sport and its future.”

(With files from the Quebec Jockey Club)

To view Sunday's harness racing entries, click on the following link: Sunday Entries - Hippodrome 3R.

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