Pa. approves new whipping standards for harness racing

HARRISBURG, Ohio (WKBN) – The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission Thursday imposed stricter standards to safeguard equine athletes from direct contact with whips during harness racing at the state’s tracks.

Drivers must now use two hands on the reins at all times, which restricts motion of the whip to a flick of the wrist and forearm. Whips are normally used to strike the sides of the sulky or the horse’s saddle pad, generating the “cracking” sound that encourages horses faster down the home stretch.

“Our new policy on whipping now becomes the most progressive in the country,” said Harness Racing Chairman Jonathan Newman. “We care about the horse and hope families will come to the races to enjoy this wonderful sport together as the best racing is here in Pennsylvania.”

Pennsylvania has three harness racing and gaming complexes.

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