#USA RACING: Jockeys ready to go to court regarding crop regulations

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The Jockeys’ Guild has filed a notice of appeal in the Superior Court of New Jersey to fight the state’s new regulation that eliminates the use of the riding crop, Thoroughbred Daily News reports.

According to New Jersey’s new rule, use of the crop will be eliminated except in situations in which it is needed for safety. The stewards are in charge of enforcing the rule and determining when the rule was broken.

According to the TDN story, the Guild takes issue with both the rule and the enforcement mechanism. The Guild said it remains in opposition to animal abuse of any kind but that jockeys should have discretion as to use of the crop as both a protective measure and to keep the integrity of the sport.

“There are many instances when we need to be able to use the riding crop to prevent a dangerous situation from occurring that is not able to be seen or known by those who are not on the horse’s back,” Jockeys’ Guild Co-Chairman John Velazquez said, according to TDN. “While purported to focus on the welfare of the horse, by not considering these instances, the new rule actually disregards the safety of the jockey and the horse.”

The notice of appeal was filed on Nov. 5. The Jockeys’ Guild is represented by Rivkin Radler LLP., according to the TDN report.

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