Local News

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has unanimously approved a statewide ban on a certain types of whips used in harness racing.

The panel on Monday voted to ban whips and riding crops that have strands of material at the end, called a snapper, which has been known to leave severe welts on horses.

The commission also placed new restrictions on the way in which standardbred drivers can strike a horse. One-handed whipping that has been allowed during stretch runs will be outlawed.

Commission spokesperson Jim Carroll says the new rules are scheduled to go into effect next year.

“There’s a regulatory process that involves publication of the proposed regulation changes and a public comment period, so it would be sometime in the spring of ’09,” Carroll said.

He says Kentucky is believed to be the first racing jurisdiction in North America to place curbs on those whipping practices.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."