Atlantic Racing Commission Announces Rule Changes

Atlantic Provinces Harness Racing Commission logo
Published: May 13, 2024 02:06 pm EDT

The Atlantic Provinces Harness Racing Commission (APHRC) announced on Monday, May 13 changes to its rulebook, which will take effect immediately.

The APHRC rules with changes are listed below and can be viewed in PDF format by clicking here.

Please consult the APHRC for the most up-to-date information regarding rules of racing.

APHRC Rulebook Changes 2024

Remove RULE 176.4.

RULE 424.2. An appellant or summoned witness who fails to show for an appeal hearing without receiving the commission’s prior approval will be subject to a fine up to $500 depending on the circumstances of failing to show. If an appellant fails to show for his/her appeal, appeal will be dismissed.

RULE 339.5 All drivers must wear an approved safety vest (ASTM Standard). Failure to have an approved vest on while participating will result in the driver being assessed a fine of $50.00 and will not be allowed on the track until one is worn. No exemptions. (Effective July 1, 2024). All participants using the track on race days (Warming up, Post Parading, Etc.) will need to wear ASTM Standard approved vest. Effective (January 1 2025)

RULE 312.8 For purses of $7500.00 or greater urging violations shall be double the monetary amount of the current penalty matrix and one additional day shall be added.

RULE 321-1 At no time shall a driver motion with his/her head to make contact with the horse trailing behind them. If deemed that the driver has made this motion to make contact it will be considered a Type II offence resulting in a $300 monetary fine and 3 Days driving Suspension.

RULE 367 (2) Table 1 reference to the Penalty Matrix following horse penalties have been added.

Class 4, Horse Penalty 15 Days

Class 5, Horse Penalty 15 Days

**Class 4 and 5 for 1st offence within 3 years the offender shall be given the option of taking the prescribed penalty as noted about or , pay a monetary fine of $750 for a Class 5 violation or $1,500 for a Class 4 violation. Horse Suspension will still be applied.

RULE 371 Any horse having alleged to have tested positive for a prohibited substance shall not race during the investigation, appeal, or the suspension period of the horse. Class 1-2-3 or TCO2 positives must re-qualify for eligibility to participate in a pari-mutuel race. The horse maybe tested after the qualifying race. Class 4-5 positives do not have to re-qualify.

RULE 377. In the event a horse has a positive test, the judges shall impose a penalty on the horse's trainer of not less than (6) six months suspension from racing and a fine of not less than $1,000. A 1-year probation shall also be included as part of the ruling. All purses paid shall be returned and re-distributed. Prior to re-instatement, the trainer shall be required to appear before the Commission to deliberate the conditions of re-instatement. The horse showing the positive test shall be excluded from racing for a period of not less than 15 days and class 1-2-3 and TCO2 must re-qualify, class 4-5 positives do not have to re-qualify. Any trainer receiving a second positive test within twelve months of receiving the first shall be subject to a suspension of not less than 12 months with a Commission review before possible reinstatement.

RULE 386. Search and Seizure. Reference must also be made to Rule 385. a) First violation shall be minimum of $100 to a maximum of $1000- and 0-30-day full suspension pending the search and seizure findings by APHRC investigator(s). After the report is completed by APHRC investigator(s) judges will examine evidence to determine penalty. b) Second violation within a 2year period the penalty shall be $1,000 and a full 30-day suspension c) On the day of the search and seizure is conducted, horses trained by the individual shall be scratched. d) No stay shall be granted on search and seizure violations. (e) Deleted

RULE 408-1 If a participant fails to show for a scheduled hearing to review a violation. The penalty will be processed, and no further hearing will be available.

RULE 412. (1) Following a hearing with the judges’, any person who is allegedly aggrieved by a decision or ruling of the judges’ or delegated official in respect to placings, penalties, interpretation of the rules or conduct of a race, may appeal to the Commission by filing a Notice of Intent to Appeal with the Director of Racing within 24 hours of the judges’ hearing. Failure to file such a Notice of Intent to Appeal will preclude a licensee’s right to appear before the Commission. Such licensee must attend the judges’ hearing to sustain the licensee’s right of Appeal to the Commission. (2) A hearing with the Judges must be requested within 24 hours of the race in question, otherwise, the Judge’s decision is final. (3) A licensee who fails to show for a Judge hearing, may be subject to a $50 fine, if not cancelled 24 hours prior to the hearing.

RULE 311-4 (g) Have both hands in the holders for the entire race from start to finish.

RULE 311. (1) At any time while on the grounds of a licensed racetrack facility, it is a violation of the Rules for a driver, or the person in control of the horse, to engage in any of the following actions with respect to their driving conduct. Urging tools (Whip or Reins): (a) Indiscriminate action, which is characterized by unrestrained or careless activity. (b) Excessive action, which is characterized by unreasonable quantity or degree including using the urging tools continuously and/or without allowing the horse to respond.

RULE 326. (1) Drivers shall keep both feet in the stirrups during the post parade, while in front of the grandstand, and from the time the horses are brought to the starting gate until the race has been completed. Drivers shall be permitted to remove a foot from the stirrups during the race solely for the purpose of pulling ear plugs and once these have been pulled, the foot must be placed back into the stirrup. If a driver’s foot is in the stirrup, he or she shall not allow his/her foot to hit a horse in any manner. (2) Striking the wheel disk of a sulky while holding one line in each hand by the handholds is a Type I offence except that striking the wheel disk of a sulky while holding one line in each hand by the handholds will be allowed from the 5/8 pole finishing the race. Excessive wheel disking is a Type 1 offence (Reference Rule 311(1) (b) for the definition of Excessive. For any offense against Rule 326 the following penalties apply: (a) 1st offence: within the race meet assess a $25.00 fine 2ime to respond. (c) Aggressive action, which is characterized by inhumane or severe activity. (3) Drivers handholds should be at the knee level at all times during the race. If holders are back beyond knee level $100.00 fine will be imposed. (Effective July 1, 2024)

RULE 327. During a race: (1) A driver shall not make an overt kicking motion towards the horse 274 before, during or after a race. Type II Offence is a Type II offence, no driver shall hit a horse with his/her foot in any manner. The following penalties apply: (a) 1st offence within the race meet assesses a $50 fine. (b) 2nd offence within the race meet assesses a $100 fine. (c) 3rd offence within the race meet assesses a $200 fine. (d) 4th offence within the race meet assesses a $200 fine and one day driving suspension. (e) 5th offence within the race meet assesses a $200 fine and two days driving suspension. For purposes of this section, after each 100 drives within the same calendar year his/her next offence.

RULE 16 (6) If a commissioner in any role receives a positive test, they shall take an immediate leave of absence from the commission until their suspension is over or until the matter has been resolved. They shall not be involved in any commission business until the matter has been resolved.

RULE 209. If the ownership of a horse changes, such horse may start under the new ownership not more than once without reasonable evidence being given to the judges that the registration certificate has been forwarded to Standardbred Canada. Any participant skipping or omitting transfers of ownership of any horse shall be guilty of a violation.

(1) All licensed members must have their current phone number, address, and email on file with Standardbred Canada. Subject to a $25 fine.

(Standardbred Canada)

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