Monday, June 1, 2009

New whip rules in effect at Woodbine

The Ontario Racing Commission ruled that all jockeys in the first two races of every card at Woodbine from June 3 through June 28 must use Lite Touch Whips.

Jockeys will have the option to continue using Lite Touch Whips for the rest of the day’s races if they choose to do so.

The temporary Use of the Whip Initiative also requires jockeys to utilize no more than two consecutive strikes during the duration of a race in a manner consistent with exerting the best effort to win.

Robert King Jr., secretary-manager for the Jockeys Benefit Association of Canada, said the association, including Canadian jockeys, supports involvement with the initiative.

Woodbine is the only racetrack currently restricting the design and limited use of racing crops.

The rule also states that whips in the first two Woodbine races on each card shall not exceed 30 inches in length, including a looped popper 1½ inches in width. Whips must consist of one inch of three rows of feathers.

The Ontario Racing Commission will meet at the end of June to evaluate the progress of the program.