Victorian Policies & Procedures

RULE 15(1)(aa) – POLICY

Pacers

1. Where a pacer breaks gait free of interference on one occasion during a race, the Stewards may issue a warning, or place the horse on its last chance to race truly.

2. If a horse re-offends in accordance with the provisions of clause 1 within its next 3 starts the horse may be stood down from racing until the completion of a satisfactory trial.

3. Where a pacer breaks gait free of interference on more than one occasion during a race, the Stewards may stand the horse down for one trial.

4. Where a pacer has previously been stood down in accordance with provisions 1 and 2 and re-offends within its next 3 starts, the Stewards may stand the horse down for 10 days and require it to trial on one occasion.

5. Where a pacer further re-offends within 3 starts, the stand down may be increased to 14 days and 2 trials.

6. The Stewards may issue a warning, place a horse on its last chance to race truly, stand a horse down for a period, or require it to trial if they deem a performance to be unsatisfactory by virtue of erratic racing manners, galloping excessively or being uncompetitive. Stewards should take all relevant factors into account, however as a guide, a horse beaten in excess of 50 metres may be issued with a warning, a horse beaten in excess of 75 metres may be placed on its last chance to race truly and a horse beaten in excess of 100 metres may be stood down from racing until the completion of a satisfactory trial.

7. Any horse that continually offends with any of the above conditions will see the stand down provision increased.

8. Some discretion may be used when there has been a substantial time period between race starts.

9. Where a horse is stood down to complete two (2) or more satisfactory trials, the satisfactory trials must be performed consecutively to have the bar lifted.

Trotters

1. Where a trotter, having competed in more than five race starts, breaks gait free of interference on 2 occasions during a race, the Stewards may issue a warning, or place the horse on its last chance to race truly. Discretion may be extended to a first time offender having five or less life time starts.

2. If a trotter breaks in the final 400m of a race or breaks on 1 occasion during consecutive starts or on a consistent basis the stewards may issue a warning or place the horse on its last chance to race truly.

3. If a trotter re-offends in accordance with the provisions of clause 1 or 2 within its next 3 starts the horse may be stood down from racing until the completion of a satisfactory trial.

4. Where a trotter breaks gait free of interference on more than 2 occasions during a race or is deemed to be non-competitive, the Stewards may stand the horse down for one trial.

5. Where a trotter has previously been stood down in accordance with provisions 3 and 4 and re-offends within its next 3 starts, the Stewards may stand the horse down for 10 days and require it to trial on one occasion.

6. Where a trotter further re-offends within 3 starts, the stand down may be increased to 14 days and 2 trials.

7. The Stewards may issue a warning, place a horse on its last chance to race truly, stand a horse down for a period, or require it to trial if they deem a performance to be unsatisfactory by virtue of erratic racing manners, galloping excessively or being uncompetitive. Stewards should take all relevant factors into account, however as a guide, a horse beaten in excess of 50 metres may be issued with a warning, a horse beaten in excess of 75 metres may be placed on its last chance to race truly and a horse beaten in excess of 100 metres may be stood down from racing until the completion of a satisfactory trial.

8. Any horse that continually offends with any of the above conditions will see the stand down provision increased.

9. Some discretion may be used when there has been a substantial time period between race starts.

10. Where a horse is stood down to complete two (2) or more satisfactory trials, the satisfactory trials must be performed consecutively to have the bar lifted.

RULE 31 – POLICY
A veterinary certificate in respect of unfitness or injury is to be lodged within two working days of the withdrawal of the horse.

RULE 44 – POLICY
Any change of driving tactics contrary to the horse’s normal or usual racing pattern are to be advised to Stewards not less than 60 minutes prior to the advertised starting time of Race 1.

Refer ‘HRV Change of Tactics Policy’

RULE 47 – PROCEDURE

  • A driver must report to the Ambulance Officers/ Doctor if he/she is involved in a race accident.
  • The Ambulance Officer will determine whether the driver requires further medical assessment.
  • Where determined by an Ambulance Officer that a driver needs further medical assessment, the driver shall not drive again until the relevant form signed by a Medical Practitioner clearing the driver to resume driving is lodged with the Steward-in-Charge of the meeting, or the Chairman of Stewards prior to 8.30 a.m. on the day the driver is next engaged to drive.
  • The Stewards shall make note on the meeting Summary Report of any driver requiring a medical assessment.

RULE 59 – POLICY

  • If the Stewards decide to re-run a race at the same meeting, horses must be passed fit to start by Veterinarians before being allowed to start.
  • The Stewards may consider recommending to the controlling body that a race be re-run at another meeting.
  • Refer to ‘HRV Race Fall Policy’

RULE 75(1) – POLICY

  • A horse may only be accepted in one claiming race per calendar day.

RULE 88 – POLICY

  • A 14 day ban will be applied to a horse which is withdrawn after acceptances unless a veterinary certificate is lodged (Rule 31), or other documentation which satisfies the Stewards that the reason for the scratching is valid.
  • A 28 day ban will be applied to a horse which is withdrawn after the 8.30am scratching deadline.

Float Breakdown
Participants should be made aware that in the circumstance of a horse being scratched as a result of a float breakdown, such horse will be ineligible to race for a period of 28 days unless supportive evidence of the breakdown is provided to Stewards and at such time the penalty will be reduced to not less than six (6) days.

RULE 90A – POLICY

  • Visiting trainers intending to stay in Victoria longer than (7) days must apply for a permit. For additional policy relating to licensing, please refer to the Licensing section of this Directory.

RULE 91(b) – POLICY
Drivers incurring a suspension must fulfill any declared driving engagements, unless otherwise determined by the Stewards.

PENALTY DEFERMENT
Should a driver be found guilty of a charge and once the Stewards have determined an appropriate period of suspension, the driver will be afforded the opportunity to defer the commencement of any such suspension for up to the maximum period of nine days. If a period of deferment is taken by the driver, such opportunity to a further deferment of penalty will not be afforded to the driver at an appeal before the HRV RAD Board.

RULE 97(1) – POLICY
To change the gait of a horse, the owner or trainer must lodge with HRV a written request accompanied by the Registration assessment certificate. The horse must re-qualify and a further change of gait cannot be approved until the expiration of three months from the date of the previous request.

RULE 100 (1) – POLICY

Trainers are required to report any horse in their care that has sustained a major fracture and or undergone major orthopaedic, respiratory or abdominal surgery to the Harness Racing Victoria Stewards department within 28 days of either occurrence.

RULE 111(4) – POLICY
Where a registered owner has been placed on the Unpaid Forfeit List in accordance with Rule 292, without limiting the discretionary provisions of the Controlling Body under Rule 295, HRV shall not allow a transfer of ownership of the relevant interest in a horse in relation to the registered owner entered onto the Unpaid Forfeits List, until such time as the owner is removed from the list or as otherwise determined by the Controlling Body.

RULE 128(2) – POLICY
Only when a horse is moving forward and facing the barrier at the time the mobile barrier commences to move, is it deemed to be participating in the score-up.

RULE 131 – POLICY

  • Barrier lines do not change with scratchings.
  • Barrier positions move down the line with scratchings.

RULE 134 – POLICIES

  • Horses competing in a standing start race that break free of interference or whose barrier manners are deemed unsatisfactory at or within 100m after the start should be declared outside draw stands (ODS) for future standing start races until such time as it completes two satisfactory performances consecutively.
  • An ODS horse must start from the outside half of the track irrespective of its allocated barrier position.
  • Horses competing in a mobile start race that break free of interference or whose barrier manners are deemed unsatisfactory at or within 100m after the start should be declared outside draw mobiles (ODM) for future mobile start races until such time as it completes two satisfactory performances consecutively.
  • Where an ODS/M horse’s performance continues to be unsatisfactory, such horse may be declared RODS/M. Where a RODS/M horse’s performance continues to be unsatisfactory, such horse may be banned from competing in races.
  • In order for any horse that has been excluded from the draw to be re-included, the following requirements must be met by such horse on two consecutive occasions: (i) Maintain gait throughout score up (ii) Be within one (1) metre of the barrier at the required time (trials & races). (iii) Behave in a tractable manner for 100 metres after the start in races. (iv) Behave in a tractable manner for 100 metres after the start in trials. (v) Complete the trial.
  • A RODS/M horse will be required to perform satisfactorily on two consecutive occasions to revert to ODS/M and on two further consecutive occasions to be placed back in the draw.

It is the responsibility of the trainer to approach the Stewards or Trials Supervisor prior to their horse competing in a race/trial, to advise they intend for their horse to be re-included in the draw and the relevant documentation must be signed.

If stewards accede to a request that a horse be placed outside the draw, such horse will be made RODS/M.

RULE 136(1) - POLICY 

To attempt to secure a fair start in a standing start race, the starter may consider it necessary for a barrier strand to be placed no less than ten (10) metres directly behind a horse’s allotted starting position.

RULE 141 – POLICIES

  • If a hopple shortener pin or ear plug prematurely releases and a horse maintains its correct gait, the score up shall continue and the Driver shall not alert the Starter of a gear malfunction. The Driver may release the shortener pin or ear plug that has remained in place however must continue to score up. This is irrespective of the horse maintaining its correct gait or galloping – the score up shall continue regardless. Drivers should note that if they attempt to delay the start of a race due to a hopple shortener pin or ear plug prematurely releasing when their drive maintains its gait, or turn their horse away from the start after the score up has commenced, penalties may apply.
  • When a false start is declared for a mobile start race, the starter will direct that all horses immediately return to the marshalling area via the shortest route, that gear adjustments are made if necessary and the mobile barrier will be repositioned to re-commence the score-up.

RULE 159A(5) – POLICY
A driver shall not drive in a race with his/her colours outside his/her trousers unless the colours are a tailored jacket.

RULE 162(a) – POLICY
The Starter will activate an amber flashing light two minutes prior to the scheduled or re-scheduled starting time of a race and after the activation of the light, a driver must not dismount without permission.

RULE 162(1)(y) – POLICY
Pacers

At all provincial race meetings in Pacing events the driver of the lead horse is required to complete the first half of the last mile in 64.0 seconds or better. Exceptions to this policy include all 2YO races and those 3YO races conducted prior to 1 December each season. For any ‘Sprint Race’ of 1750m or less there is a requirement that each quarter of the last mile be completed in 32.0 seconds or faster.

Trotters

For all provincial Trotting events the leader is required to complete the first half of the last mile in 65.0 seconds or better. Exceptions to this policy include all 2YO and 3YO Trotting events, races with a front of T0, and any race in excess of 2400m.

Tabcorp Park Melton

For all races conducted at Tabcorp Park Melton whether it is a mid-week country penalty meeting or a Metropolitan penalty meeting, the use of quarterbased sectional times apply. The requirement is quarters of 32 seconds or faster for Pacers and 32.5 seconds or faster for Trotters. All 2YO and 3YO trotters races, T0 front races and any trotters race in excess of 2400m are exempt. All 2YO Pacing events are also exempt along with 3YO Pacing events conducted prior to 1 December each season.

Small Tracks

At tracks with a circumference of 900 metres or less, the requirement of completing the first half of the last mile in 64 seconds or faster shall be relaxed to 65 seconds or faster for C0 only races throughout the season and 3C0, 3C1 and 3C2 class races from December 1 each season.

Restricted Penalty Events

Sectional Times are not applicable for any Restricted Penalty Race.

RULE 163(1)(c) – POLICY
A driver who allows his/her sulky to contact the marker pegs may be cautioned. Any subsequent offence may attract a fine. Repeat offenders may be suspended. – A driver who carelessly allows any part of his/her sulky to go inside the line of the marker pegs, may be fined or suspended. – A driver, who goes where there is insufficient room and his/her sulky goes inside the line of the marker pegs, or causes another runner’s sulky to go inside the line of the marker pegs, may be suspended.

RULE 171(1) – POLICY

  • When an accident occurs, the Steward-In-Charge will assess the situation and if deemed unsafe to continue, the “fall siren” will be activated continuously and the race is to be stopped.  Refer ‘HRV Race Fall Policy’
  • A person approved by the Stewards to act as a “Crash Attendant” will control the accident scene. A Clerk of Course, if free to do so, will position himself/herself to direct the remaining starters around the accident.

RULE 190(6) – POLICY
A person in charge of a horse at a race meeting must be a licenced trainer, driver or stablehand. If the trainer or the previously declared representative is not present at that meeting, written authority must be lodged with the Stewards at the meeting advising of the person responsible.

RULE 191(2) – POLICY
The following analytical laboratories are approved by Harness Racing Victoria –

  • Racing Analytical Services Limited (Vic)
  • Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (NSW)
  • Racing Science Centre (Qld)
  • Chemistry Centre (WA)
  • Hong Kong Jockey Club Laboratory  (HK)
  • Sport and Specialised Analytical Services – LGC (UK)
  • New Zealand Racing Laboratory Services (NZ)
  • National Measurement Unit (NMI)/ Australian Sports Drug Testing Laboratory  (NSW)
  • Institute of Biochemistry/German Sport University (Cologne, Germany)
  • Maxxam Analytics – Forensic Equine Drug Testing (Canada)

RULE 238 – POLICY
In wet or inclement conditions, Stewards may direct that Trainers apply mudguards to their Sulkies.

It is a requirement for licensed persons participating in the Victorian Harness Racing Industry to comply with the “HRV Licensees Minimum Dress Standards Policy”.

RULE 253 – POLICY
The use of mobile telephones in the drivers room at any race meeting is strictly prohibited.

RULE 256(2)(a)POLICY

The minimum penalty for rule breaches at TAB meetings is $50.

RULE 259(1)(a) – POLICY

  • A person commencing disqualification in the season pertaining to an industry award shall not be eligible for such award.
  • Where a disqualified person is a member of a partnership which wins an industry award, the persons not affected by the disqualification shall be eligible.
  • A horse owned, trained or driven by a disqualified person, is eligible for an industry award.

RULE 273 – PROCEDURE
273(1) Application to have gear approved shall be made to HRA via the State Controlling Body Chairman of Stewards. HRA will consult with each state’s Chairman of Stewards before approval is granted. A list of approved gear shall be kept by the HRA 273(2) The Steward-in-Charge of a meeting shall record faulty or broken gear. 273(3) Notification of a gear change must be made by the driver declaration time for the respective meeting.

RULE 273(6)(a) – POLICY
Incorrect number includes wearing no number.

HOT WEATHER POLICY
On a race day where the forecast maximum temperature for the race meeting venue is determined by the Bureau of Meteorology to exceed thirty eight degrees Celsius (38°C), the trainer of a horse engaged at that meeting may:

Prior to 8.30am on the day of the meeting scratch the horse free of penalty; scratchings affected after 8.30 am on race day will attract the normal late scratching penalty. Such applications may only be made on the day of the race.

Refer ‘HRV Hot Weather Policy’.

 

Industry Policies implemented by the HRV Integrity Department are located at:

http://www.hrv.org.au/integrity/stewards-industry-policies/