Minnesota Racing Commission Establishes New Whipping Rules and Fine Structure - Horse Races Now - Horse Races Now Minnesota Racing Commission Establishes New Whipping Rules and Fine Structure - Horse Races Now

Minnesota Racing Commission Establishes New Whipping Rules and Fine Structure

Updated: July 24, 2015

The Minnesota Racing Commission has just put into place, a new whipping rule that is one of the most stringent in the country. Under the new rule 7883.0160 Subp. 6C http://tinyurl.com/pqgmj5g

A jockey must not use the riding crop indiscriminately. A jockey must not strike a horse more than three consecutive times without pausing to only push on the horse giving it a chance to respond before using the riding crop again. Jockeys are prohibited from striking a horse:

(1)  on the head, flanks, or on any part of its body other than the shoulders or hind quarters;

(2)  during the post parade except when necessary to control the horse;

(3)  excessively or brutally causing welts or breaks in the skin;

(4)  when the horse is clearly out of the race or has obtained its maximum placing;

(5)  persistently even though the horse is showing no response under the riding crop; or

(6)  after the race

Executive Director Tom DiPasquale sees the new rule as progress toward presenting a racing product more acceptable to the public. “Excessive whipping is unappealing to the public. This rule emphasizes use of the riding crop for control and safety purposes and limits use of the crop to the least sensitive shoulder and hind quarters. It’s a rule whose time has come.”

The Minnesota Racing Commission Board of Stewards is also giving the new rule some teeth by instituting progressive fines. Chief Steward David Hooper stated, “The Board of Stewards believes this rule needs to be backed up by progressive penalties. We established a $200 fine for a first violation, $400 for a second violation, $800 for a third violation, and then an added suspension for the fourth violation and beyond. Since the new rule went into effect, we have handed down five rulings, but for the most part the jockey colony is doing a good job with the transition.”

The rule is also in place in California and enjoys the support of the national Jockeys’ Guild.