By T. D. Thornton
A unified set of whipping regulations is in the pipeline for the mid-Atlantic region jockeys, and the plan could be announced by early June with the goal of rolling out the new rules as tracks start to reopen from COVID-19 closures.
“We are very actively working on finalizing a riding crop policy–rule if you want to call it [that]–for the mid-Atlantic region that will bring a consensus to the region on the use of the crop,” Alan Foreman, the chairman and chief executive officer of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, said at Thursday’s Maryland Racing Commission meeting as part of an update on policy changes.
“There’s been a lot of discussion and a lot of proposals about the use of the crop over the past year. We’re bringing that to a head in the mid-Atlantic. We have created, for the first time, a penalty system to ensure that the rule is adhered to,” Foreman said.
“What I think will be approved is a points system that will be very similar to the Multiple Medication Violation points system that is used for trainers for medication violations,” Foreman said, adding that the new guidelines will “incentivize compliance with the rule, [promote] better riding, and identify those riders whose attention we need to get with regards to use of the crop.
“I think that’s going to be a very positive step,” Foreman continued. “We believe we may even have that recommendation done within the next week. We’d like to get it started with a grace period for the riders to comply with the rule as racing is rolled out throughout the region,” Foreman said.
Terence Meyocks, the president and chief executive officer of the Jockeys’ Guild, replied to a TDN request for comment by emailing that he was in a meeting and would not be able to speak in time for deadline for this story.