New York to move ahead on examination of riding crop rules

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Sept. 23, 2020 The New York State Gaming Commission plans to schedule a meeting in October to specifically discuss policy regarding use of the riding crop. The NYSGC, which met Sept. 21, also said it expects to soon receive a report from staff on data taken on non-Lasix 2-year-old races at Saratoga Race Course during its 2020 meet. New York regulators have had previous discussions on the riding crop, and recently multiple states including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Kentucky and California have implemented or plan to implement changes. The NJRC at its September meeting adopted a ban on use of the crop to urge a horse effective with the 2021 Monmouth Park meet, while Delaware and Maryland in August adopted a policy that allows for six strikes, no more than two in a row, from the quarter-pole to the finish of a race. “From my perspective it’s time to move forward on this issue,” NYSGC member Peter Moschetti Jr. said. “We should consider everything from an outright ban to what California and Kentucky have done. We want to invite those people (to the meeting) who should have a say to shed anymore light on it before we make a comprehensive decision.” The Kentucky regulation allows for up to six underhand strikes per race, with only two in a row. The California Horse Racing Board announced that a similar regulation will take effect Oct. 1, The Delaware and Maryland policy, soon to be implemented in Pennsylvania as well, allows for underhand use of the whip from the start to the quarter-pole. In regard to non-Lasix races for 2-year-olds, NYSGC member John Crotty said there were 60 races at Saratoga this year for a total of 466 starts, and that there was one episode of epistaxis—bleeding from the nostril—recorded. He said staff is continuing to analyze the data in a more comprehensive manner and will prepare a report; data also will be taken for the Belmont and Aqueduct meets through the end of 2020. “There are a lot more things to look at,” Crotty said.”There are a lot of variables to consider for sure.” A Maryland study of non-Lasix 2-year-old races began in August and involves video endoscopies of participating horses. The data is being stored by the Maryland Racing Commission for use in a detailed study.