The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has just announced revisions to a number of rules and policies affecting Michigan horsemen. Rules and policies impacted by the changes include those involving driving rule violations, the EPM list, phenylbutazone levels, and deceased horse protocols. The rule and policy changes were previously made available for review and comment last spring. Feedback collected at that time was considered and is reflected in the updated versions just released by the MGCB.
Likely to be of most interest to horsemen, especially drivers, are changes to Rule 4265 which governs driving rule violations, complaints, and disciplinary action. Those rule revisions include the requirement that drivers keep both hands in front of their body and below their head during the race; limit whipping towrist action with minimal elbow and/or shoulder movement; confine use of the whipto an area above and between the sulky shafts; and prohibits drivers from leaning back during the race in any manner which might cause unsafe conditions, alter the position of, or impede the progress of, trailing horses. While these changes to Rule 4265 take effect on Feb. 1, the MGCB has announced that there will be an enforcement grace period through March 1, except in cases of chronic offenders or where violations cause injury to a horse. (MHHA)