Industry Reports

Woodbine Entertainment Could Pioneer New Whip Rules after Three-Month Test Period

Horse racing is a riveting live entertainment for people of all ages that enjoy it as a time well-spent with their close ones. Woodbine Entertainment wants to introduce a new urging rule that could change Ontario’s horse racing field future.

Over the following three months of racing events, jockeys would be allowed to use only underhand whip position, avoid cocked position contact, as well as protect the horse’s belly from any whips. People often associate horse racing with their warmest childhood memories when they have spent time with their parents at live horse racing events, taking in the vibrant atmosphere and the buzzing crowd.

Spending quality time with their loved ones at the weekend is further motivated by the open-air activities available at racetracks. Ontario’s Woodbine Entertainment knows the importance of keeping the field as contemporary as possible, a task possible with the help of a new rule.

October 18 Sees New Rules

In a recent statement, the horse racing leader made it clear that the months ahead of the end of 2019 would see a new rule being implemented. The change would come in collaboration with Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario, and the Jockey’s Benevolent Association of Canada, all giving their nod.

October 18 would be a milestone moment of this year’s racing history, as it would bring the new rule mandating underhand use of the riding crop during live events.

Ontarians would have the opportunity to see live the new rule being seamlessly implemented in the live events from here on out until the end of this year’s live schedule at Woodbine Racetrack. The racehorses would no longer have contact with the crop in cocked position.

For quite some time, environmentalists and people closely monitoring and studying the field have warned about the harm of whipping. The British Horseracing Authority, racing regulator in Great Britain, issued its own stance on the subject, pointing towards special conditions that could make the use of a whip painless to the horse.

Humane Whip Use Eyed

An energy-absorbing whip and strict controls on how it can be used could result in a harmless experience for the animal. Back in 2017, Harness Racing Australia aimed to introduce a milestone change to its harness horse racing field with the removal of whip use whatsoever. Ever since 2010, the executives were after changes in both the Thoroughbred and harness racing.

Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment in New Jersey is another location that has been reminding about its special whipping rules ever since 2017. It allows the use of a whip only in the areas above and between the sulky shafts. Now Ontario wants to see changes with the help of a test-drive period lasting three months. Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson pointed that this new phase of the racetrack’s development is projected to have a positive impact on the local racing field.

Setting the tone across Canada and North America in general, Woodbine Entertainment would closely collaborate with horse people and jockeys that would offer their valuable input on the subject in the months ahead. Come December 15, the rules would be evaluated once again prior to their implementation to Fort Erie Racetrack at the beginning of 2020.