Pompano Officially Announces Whipping Rule

Published: September 3, 2008 12:13 pm EDT

This morning, track management at Pompano Park officially announced that it has approved new rules regarding the use of a whip in a horse race. The rules will be in effect for the start of Pompano's 45th anniversary season, Friday, September 12.

New to racing in North America, the rules call for drivers in any type of race to never be allowed to put the reins in one hand in order to strike a horse with a whip at any time during the race. The push for the new rules was first brought to the attention of track management by the heads of the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association and has been endorsed by leading drivers at the racetrack.

"We are very pleased to be the first track in North America to implement these new rules," said Michael Bloom, Isle's vice president and general manager. "We know our drivers will abide by them and we hope to become the model for all horse tracks to follow."

Penalties start at $100 for the first offense, but there is also an additional ruling that allows anyone found to be whipping a horse excessively at any time can be fined up to an additional $1,000 and be suspended from competing and/or ejected from the property.

The same fines, suspensions and/or lack of racing privileges will also be enforced if a driver is found guilty of striking a horse below the shafts of the sulky.



I am new to the racing world i dont really see what banding the use of the whip is going to achieve. To me if you need the whip in order to encourage your horse to preform to the fullest you should be aloud. I dont think you should be aloud to "beat" the horse in a sense but you should be aloud to tap it light. Some of the horses just need that little encouragement.

Will this rule apply so the horse never ever gets whipped, if so why not just ban the whip and let horses gallop around the track in front of a empty stand.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Anyone training a race horse properly, knows that horses will give their all, without resorting to brutalization with a whip.
The year is 2008, and the industry acts as if we were living in the 1800s.

Now that simulcasting has opened up the views to all racetracks across North America, an acute watcher can see that the top drivers are winning races by light or no whipping.

It's sickening enough to race these animals, that have no clue of what's happening to them, loaded full of drug coktails. It's easy enough to trace these drugs, by having the veterinarians submit their purhases. It is the drug companies, with the commisioned sales rep, selling to the vets, and finally to anyone with or without a training license.

The amount of ACTH being sold is one example of the absurd notion that these drugs are monitored. You have idiotic people giving throat and vein shots.

I had never been to the Brown Jug, till last year. A horse called Tell All took the honors. It was a rare sight to see the trainer of this horse do everything properly. The horse was warmed up, the race bike was walked to the winners circle, with the driver walking along. The horse was jogged by the trainer a mile and half, immediately after the win photo was taken. This was one class act of training and driving. I have watched races since 1968, and this horse had a natural bounce in his step. This animal was self confident, and ran on his own power.

This business is cranking out a product, and is in
need of real oversight. To put this in perspective, just think of what our mortgage lending institutions did for the last 8 years. Horse business is self policing, and will never be under control until the vets, and drug companies are audited. Until the drivers stop their greed. And until the proper care of the main product {the horse}, is treated with the respect it deserves.

I know there is frustration of the decent owners and trainers in this industry. I am. The reply to this, is when I see changes as the races are actually run.

Thak you,

why don't they just extend the saddle pad to cover the rear flank and than you could be allowed to only strike the whipping pad . drivers aren't handcuffed,the betting public sees effort and animal activists see that the horse is not actually being hit. any contact outside the whipping area (ie.below the shaft)could then be dealt with in a very harsh manner.much easier rule for both drivers and judges to understand and rule on

Well this has been the whipping rule in Bitain for along time now almost 20 years i would say and Ireland enforced it aswell about 5 years ago to but i am not sure if its the best rule in the world but i suppose it has both good and bad points for the integrity of the sport to show we are just not about beating a horse around in a circle like some people who are not too familiar with harness racing may think but on yhe other hand the guys who have had the remainer of ther wage packet for that month on yhe eg 6 horse may not be to pleased to see eg Jody Jameson not being to agresive with him when he is only a lenght offthe lead just yards from the wire iof it is enforced by all tracks Granted the people from the Donkey and Horses sanctuarys dont like to see horses get whipped atall but the bettors do and harness racing gains revenue from bettors not pet rescue centers

It is hard to get friends to go to watch the races. Nobody nowaday wants to see horses whipped and abused. The sport will die a slow death.

now if pompano park would just give the horsemen their fair share of the slot revenue it would be a good place to race

This rule should be implemented by ORC with all racetracks in Ontario.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

for me the wip is part of the show , if use correctly, anyways there sanctions for it. don t change anythings

Yes it is a step in the right direction.It's a shame it took pompano to be the first to place the rule and not one of the bigger operrations such as Mohawk or The meadowlands.

U must also enforce that the driver cannot bring his arm back behind his shoulder when using his whip to encourage a horse to go forward, if not it will become a real danger to everyone in the race as that driver will lose control of the horse .

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I agree. Have been a long time owner and groom for over 25 years. Whipping looks barbaric and sounds even worse. Made the mistake of inviting a friend visiting from Sweden to Fraser Downs, B. C. for the races. She was horrified at what she saw and we ended of leaving early.

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