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2017 World Driving Championship | Rules

International Trotting Association Rules Governing the 2017 World Driving Championship

1. The 2017 World Driving Championship will be hosted by Canada (“host country”) and conducted by Standardbred Canada (“the organizing association).

2. The Championship will be controlled and raced under these guidelines and under the racing rules of the organizing association, the provinces’ racing commissions, and the racetracks at which the competitions are conducted.

3. A minimum of 22 heats will be contested.

4. All drivers competing in the Championship shall be named not later than April 1, 2017.

5. Each participating driver must sign a driving contract provided by the host country or organizing association.

6. Each driver competing in the Championship must be licensed to drive in the host country and all provinces where WDC legs are hosted. Each driver must supply a document from his /her own trotting governing body indicating that he or she is in good current standing.

7. Other than the Defending Champion, each driver shall wear his or her country’s national driving silks. The silks shall be free from any commercial sponsorship other than that approved by the organizing association.

8. The Defending Champion shall wear driving silks in the colours of the International Trotting Association and provided by the organizing association.

9. Each driver shall wear a helmet approved by the organizing association. Commercial sponsoring of items related to the helmet will be allowed.

10. Air travel costs between the country of origin and the host country will be the responsibility of the controlling body in each country from which a participating driver originates.

11. Driving assignments for each race will be determined by random lot. The drivers or the representatives of the participating countries have the right to be present at the drawings. A driver shall not drive a horse that he or she normally drives, trains or works.

12. Points for the Championship shall be awarded in each heat according to the final, official order of finish, on the following basis:

Number of Starters – 11:
18 (1); 13 (2); 10 (3); 8 (4); 7 (5); 6 (6); 5 (7); 4 (8); 3 (9); 2 (10); and 1 (11)

Number of Starters – 10:
17 (1); 12 (2); 9 (3); 7 (4); 6 (5); 5 (6); 4 (7); 3 (8); 2 (9) and 1 (10)

Number of Starters – 9:
16 (1); 11 (2); 8 (3); 6 (4); 5 (5); 4 (6); 3 (7); 2 (8) and 1 (9)

Number of Starters – 8:
15 (1); 10 (2); 7 (3); 5 (4); 4 (5); 3 (6); 2 (7) and 1 (8)

13. In the event of a horse being scratched, or where there is no horse available, six (6) points shall be awarded to the driver concerned. If a horse is disqualified and placed back in the final, official order of finish, or a horse and driver fail to complete the course, the driver shall receive one (1) point.

14. Points are awarded to drivers based on the official posted results of the race on race day.

15. In the event of a dead heat for any finishing position in any heat the points normally awarded individually to the drivers finishing in those positions shall be added together and divided equally among those drivers.

16. The point score will be kept by an Official Point Scorer appointed by the host country.

17. All drivers must compete in all the races in the Championship, unless able to do so because of illness, injury or any exceptional circumstances. In the event a driver is unable to compete, his or her driving assignments will be handled, at the option of the host country, by:

A. Another driver in the Championship, if the horse he or she was to drive in the same race is scratched; or

B. A substitute current leading race winning driver at the track at which the heat is being contested, or the next best leading driver if the first is already competing in the Championship or is otherwise unavailable.

18. The driver with the most points at the end of the Championship shall be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and is known as the Defending Champion for the following Championship.

19. In the event of a tie for any position, based upon the number of points earned, the driver with the most winning drives in the Championship heats will be declared the winner. If still tied, the greater number of second place finishes, third place finishes, fourth place finishes, and so on will determine that driver’s position in the standings.

20. No driving fees are to be paid by the owners or trainers of the competing horses to the drivers.

21. All races shall be started by the use of a mobile barrier, and will have eleven (11) starters.

22. All horses in all heats are to be graded as evenly as possible, and each host racetrack shall, as best as possible, attempt to achieve this.

23. As best as is possible, each driver will be provided the opportunity to start twice in each of the eleven (11) positions.

24. In all cases where an accident, driving error or other incident results in an inquiry into the conduct of a heat by the judges, the UET Supervisor and two persons nominated by the International Trotting Association shall be present at the inquiry.

25. One representative of the host country, the Official Point Scorer and the UET Supervisor shall constitute a jury for the purpose of making any necessary point adjustments as provided herein.

26. When an offence occurs, it is within the power of the racetrack Judges to fine or suspend a driver as is appropriate under the rules, and all controlling bodies shall be notified of the details of that decision.

27. The host country or association shall arrange a thorough pre-briefing of all drivers on the racing rules governing each leg. Attendance by the drivers is mandatory, and the briefing shall include explanations of the following:

  • Relevant rules regarding driving in races;

  • Relevant information pertaining to the tracks where races are being conducted;

  • Assembly and conduct of the post parade;

  • Recalls and reformation of the parade;

  • Breaking stride;

  • Permissible uses of the whip;

  • Holding one rein in each hand;

  • Going inside the pylons;

  • Fallen horses and other accidents; and

  • How to file post-race objections.

28. No electrical devices of any kind may be used by drivers, and only driving equipment and attire permitted in the host jurisdictions may be used or worn.

29. All drivers will be required to submit to breath analysis used to determine the presence of alcohol. Drivers exceeding the limit will not be permitted to participate in that leg of the Championship, and will be subject to fine and/or suspension.

30. The total purse to be paid to the participating drivers will be US$56,000. The distribution of the prize money shall be as follows:

  • First Place - $25,000

  • Second Place - $12,500

  • Third Place - $6,000

  • Fourth Place - $4,000

  • Fifth Place - $2,500

  • Sixth through Eleventh Place, each - $1,000

  • (Grand Total - $56,000)

31. When there is a tie for any final position, in terms of the total points won, the drivers will be placed in the standings according to their “best placings.” For example, the number of dash wins will be compared and the driver with more wins will be placed above the other with which he or she was tied; if they both have the same number of wins the number of second place finishes are compared, and the driver with more such finishes is placed above the other; if still tied the number of finishes in third place, fourth place, fifth place, and so forth are compared until the tie is broken.

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