THE Turf Club today published a number of new rules dealing with the running and riding of horses.
The introduction to the new rules stresses the importance of each horse competing in each race being seen to have been given a full opportunity of obtaining the best possible place. It also refers to an overall obligation on all persons who have any involvement with the running and riding of a horse in a race, to ensure that the horse concerned runs on its merits and is also seen, to a reasonable and informed member of the racing public, to have been run on its merits.
Under the new rules there are three specific areas which are addressed:
1. Rule 212 A deals with running and riding offences and is broken down into four sub rules: Part (i) deals with instances where a person involved in the running and/or riding of a horse in a race deliberately or recklessly causes or permits a horse to run other than on its merits. Part (ii) deals with instances where a rider or any other person involved causes, contributes to or permits the running and/or riding of a horse in a race in such a way that the horse cannot be seen to have been the subject of a genuine attempt to obtain from the horse timely, real and substantial efforts to achieve the best possible place. Part (iii) deals with running a horse in a condition where the person concerned knew or should have known would preclude its chance of winning, or of achieving its best possible placing, or where a horse is run for the purposes of giving the horse a school. Part (iv) deals with failure to obtain the best possible place as a result of negligent misjudgment e.g. misjudging the winning post or the number of circuits. 2. Rule 212 B deals with Improvement in Form and sets out what will occur if the Stewards having considered the performance of a horse in a race, are of the opinion that the relevant performance showed a significant improvement on the performance of that horse in a previous race or races sufficient to raise a concern as to whether the relevant horse ran on its merits in such previous race or races.
3. Rule 212 C deals with General Matters under Rule 212 such as the instructions given, provision of veterinary evidence, provision of new evidence, betting patterns and running and/or riding of horses associated with a person the subject of a stewards’ enquiry or investigation.
Rule 212 C also introduces a new provision for dealing with possible breaches of Rules different to the ones initially under consideration.
Arising from the introduction of Rule 212, there are amendments to the powers of the raceday stewards and the maximum fine that can now be imposed is increased from €6,000 to €10,000 and the maximum suspension that can be imposed on a horse is increased from 60 days to 90 days.
Commenting on the new rules Turf Club Chief Executive, Denis Egan said: “The new rules give the Stewards greater discretion when dealing with running and riding offences to ensure that an appropriate rule is used in dealing with any transgression.”
He said: “The new rules should alleviate the difficulties which arose in the past where the same rule wording was used to deal with minor and major rule breaches.”
MORE ON THIS STORY IN THE IRISH FIELD NEXT WEEKENDA copy of the various rule changes are attached. These rules apply from January 20th, 2017