Pompano Park management has announced that it has approved new rules regarding the use of a whip in a horse race. The rules will be in effect for the start of its 45th anniversary season on Friday, Sept. 12.
The rules call for drivers to never be allowed to put the reins in one hand in order to strike a horse with a whip at any time during the race. The push for the new rules was first brought to the attention of track management by the heads of the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association and has been endorsed by leading drivers at the racetrack.
“We are very pleased to be the first track in North America to implement these new rules,” said Michael Bloom, Isle Casino Racing at Pompano Park's vice president and general manager. “We know our drivers will abide by them and we hope to become the model for all horse tracks to follow.”
Penalties start at $100 for the first offense, but there is also an additional ruling that allows anyone found to be whipping a horse excessively at any time can be fined up to an additional $1,000 and be suspended from competing and/or ejected from the property.
The same fines, suspensions and/or lack of racing privileges will also be enforced if a driver is found guilty of striking a horse below the shafts of the sulky. (Pompano Park)