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California Board Clarifies Meeting Vote

Published: May 30, 2016 12:47 am ET

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The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has issued a release to clear up any confusion over the vote at last Thursday’s Board meeting to amend Rule 1688, the riding crop rule.

The vote did not change the current three-strike rule that was adopted at the November 2014 meeting of the CHRB. The vote merely authorizes a 45-day period for the public to comment on the proposed change. Following the 45-day public comment period, after considering input from all who wish to submit opinions, the Board will once again vote on whether or not to amend the current three-strike rule.

The CHRB has set the standard by adopting several rules designed to protect horses, such as the establishment of safety requirements for the construction of the riding crop and the adoption of Rule 1688, which prohibits using the crop more than three times in succession without giving the horse a chance to respond. The proposed amendment would further state “except in the last 16th of a mile in a thoroughbred race, at which time a jockey is prohibited from using a riding crop more than four times in succession without giving the horse a chance to respond before using the riding crop again.”

The original Rule 1688 was crafted after extensive discussions with the Jockeys’ Guild and other stakeholders, with the understanding that changes might be necessary, while always keeping in mind the impact of the rule on the horse, the jockey, and the wagering public.

Amending Rule 1688 was recommended by the Jockeys’ Guild. A majority of the California racing commissioners agreed to begin the 45-day comment period on the proposed amendment. At the conclusion of this process, whether the limit is three or four during the last sixteenth of a mile, California still will have the strictest riding crop regulation in the country.


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