Canada's main track Woodbine racecourse is set to trial new whip regulations starting from October 18th which will see riders have to be strict with the way they use the whip on the horses they are riding.
The new rules will restrict whip use to the underhand position, allow no contact with the horse with the whip in the cocked position, and prohibit any hits to the horse's belly or surrounding area.
This change in regulations is only taking place at Woodbine with many governing bodies all agreeing to the decision to trial this with Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson having his say.
(Credit Racing Post) He said: "Woodbine Entertainment is committed to safety and being a leader of change for the betterment of the horse racing industry in Ontario and throughout North America.
"We are proud to partner with the AGCO, HBPA, and JBAC on this important initiative that will surely have a positive impact on our sport and industry."
It has taken months of preparation to to build and work out how it would be best to structure the new rules of usage of the whip for the jockeys but now it has been finalised they will stay in place at the dirt track until December 15th.
(Credit Racing Post) Retired Hall of Fame jockey Sandy Hawley is over the moon with this trial period and can see a huge benefit on how it will impact the sport.
He said:"I will always be very supportive of any improvement that's for the betterment of the sport and the safety of the horses and the riders," Hawley said. "The test period is also a good idea that will provide everyone involved with an opportunity to learn from the experience and help create a smooth and safe implementation of the new rule."