Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 11. Gaming
Agency 10. Virginia Racing Commission
4/7/2020

Chapter 140. Flat Racing

Part I
Generally

11VAC10-140-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in these regulations shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Assigned weight" means the weight carried by a horse specified in the conditions of the race or by the racing secretary and printed in the daily racing program.

"Dead heat" means the finish of a race by two horses or more at the same time.

"Finish wire" means a real or imaginary line from the position of the photo-finish camera to a point immediately across and at right angles to the racing surface.

"Flat racing" means horse racing conducted over a surface without obstacles and includes racing with mounted riders for Arabians, Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds.

"Highweight handicap" means a handicap race in which the weight assigned to the top horse is not less than 140 pounds.

"Match race" means a race between two horses.

"Nonstarter" means a horse that fails to obtain a fair opportunity to start, as determined by the stewards, when the starter dispatches the horses.

"Official time" means the period from the time the first horse crosses the starting post until the first horse crosses under the finish wire.

"Overweight" means any weight of one pound or more over the assigned weight carried by a horse in a race.

"Place" means to finish second in a race.

"Post position" means the relative position assigned to each horse numbered from the inner rail across the track at the starting line, from which each horse is to start a race.

"Post time" means the advertised moment scheduled for the arrival of all horses at the starting post for a race.

"Produce race" means a race to be run by the produce of horses named or described in the conditions of the race at the time of entry.

"Purse race" means a race for money or other prize to which the owners of horses entered do not contribute a fee of more than $100.

"Race" means a contest among horses for a purse, prize or other reward, run at a race meeting licensed by the commission and in the presence of the stewards.

"Show" means to finish third in a race.

"Starter" means a horse that obtains a fair opportunity to start when the starter dispatches the horses.

"Starting post" means the starting point of a race.

"Underweight" means any weight less than the assigned weight carried by a horse in a race.

"Weigh in" means the presentation of a jockey to the clerk of scales for weighing after a race.

"Weigh out" means the presentation of a jockey to the clerk of scales for weighing prior to a race.

"Win" means to finish first in a race.

"Winner" means the horse whose nose reaches the finish wire first.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 1.1, eff. September 26, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2002.

Part II
Paddock to Post

11VAC10-140-12. Safety helmets.

Any person mounted on a horse or stable pony on association grounds must wear a safety helmet approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) securely fastened under the chin at all times.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 18, eff. May 31, 2007.

11VAC10-140-15. Safety vests.

A. A safety vest shall be worn when:

1. Racing, parading, or warming up a horse prior to racing;

2. Jogging, training, or exercising a horse at any time; or

3. Handling horses in the starting gate.

B. A safety vest shall:

1. Cover the torso, front and back, from the collar bone to the hip bone;

2. Be of uniform material and thickness over the whole of the vest except for localized:

a. Variation due to pattern, for example, quilting;

b. Thinner areas to aid fit, for example, under the arms, at fastenings and at edges; and

c. Thicker areas in regard to particularly sensitive areas of the body, for example, the spine; and

3. Equal or exceed a minimum shock absorbance rating of five according to the specifications established by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), which are as follows:

a. Use a critical height apparatus to measure the maximum deceleration on impact of a striker consisting of a spherical idententer weighing 5.9 (+/-0.05) kilograms with a diameter of 215 (+/-2) millimeters;

b. Condition the vest and the striker for a minimum of three hours at 23° (+/-2°) Centigrade;

c. With the vest lying on a smooth, flat massive concrete base with the inside of the vest facing the striker and positioned so that the striker will impact on an area of typical thickness, not reinforced by additional material, raise and release the striker starting at a height of 0.2 meter and increasing the height by increments of 0.2 meter to a height that will result in a deceleration of over 300 gravity units (1G=9.81 ms-1) as measured by recording the signal from an accelerometer through the impact from the time before the striker impacts the vest until the accelerometer returns to the same level as before the impact;

d. Record the gravity units measured at each height increment on a line graph that has the gravity units in ascending order as the vertical axis and the release height in meters in ascending meters as the horizontal access.

e. Plot the height in meters at which the deceleration reached 300 gravity units; and

f. Multiply the height obtained in subdivision 3 e of this subsection by 10 to calculate the shock absorbance rating.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 18, eff. May 31, 2007.

11VAC10-140-20. Paddock time.

The trainer shall be responsible for the arrival in the paddock at the time prescribed by the stewards for each horse entered by the trainer.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 2.1, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-30. Weighing out.

A jockey shall be weighed out by the clerk of scales no later than 15 minutes before post time. The following provisions shall apply to the weighing out of jockeys:

1. His clothing, saddle, girth, pad and saddle cloth shall be included in a jockey's weight;

2. Bit, blinkers, bridle, chamois, goggles, number cloth, overgirth, reins, safety helmet, safety vest, and whip shall not be included in a jockey's weight;

3. When a substitute jockey is required, he shall be weighed out promptly, and the name of the substitute jockey and weight announced to the public;

4. No jockey may carry overweight in excess of two pounds, without the permission of the owner or trainer;

5. If the overweight is more than one pound but less than five pounds, the jockey shall declare the amount of the overweight to the clerk of scales no later than 45 minutes before post time;

6. All overweights must be announced to the public;

7. A substitute jockey must be named, if the overweight exceeds five pounds;

8. If an underweight is discovered after wagering has commenced but before the start, the horse shall be returned to the paddock and the weight corrected;

9. A jockey shall not be weighed out unless the prescribed fee has been deposited with the horsemen's bookkeeper; and

10. Failure to have the prescribed fee on deposit with the horsemen's bookkeeper may be cause for the stewards to excuse the horse from racing.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 2.2, eff. September 26, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2002.

11VAC10-140-40. Prohibitions.

No person other than the horse's owner, trainer, employees of the owner or trainer, paddock judge, horse identifier, assigned valet, commission veterinarian or his designee, steward, farrier, pony rider, or outrider shall touch a horse while it is in the paddock. The material used as a tongue tie shall be supplied by the horse's trainer or his designee, who shall affix the tongue tie in the paddock.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 2.3, eff. September 26, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2002; Volume 26, Issue 20, eff. May 29, 2010.

11VAC10-140-50. Saddling horses.

The trainer shall be responsible for the saddling of the horse, and in his absence, he must assign an assistant or substitute trainer to saddle each horse entered by him. All horses must be saddled in the paddock unless permission to saddle horses elsewhere has been granted by the stewards.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 2.4, eff. September 26, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 2, eff. October 19, 2016.

11VAC10-140-60. Changing equipment.

Permission must be obtained from the stewards for the following changes of a horse's equipment from that which the horse used in its last previous start:

1. To add blinkers or any device that would restrict vision or could affect performance to a horse's equipment or to discontinue the use of blinkers or any such device that would restrict vision or could affect performance;

2. To use or discontinue use of a bar plate;

3. To race a horse without shoes or with a type of shoes not generally used for racing; and

4. To race a horse without the jockey carrying a whip.

Changes of equipment shall be noted in the daily program. In the absence of such notation, the change of equipment shall be announced to the public and noted on the closed-circuit television system. The stewards shall cause an appropriate public announcement or a display to be made in the paddock or elsewhere at the discretion of the stewards for the aforementioned changes of equipment.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 2.5, eff. September 26, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2002; Volume 26, Issue 20, eff. May 29, 2010.

11VAC10-140-70. First-time starters.

Whips or blinkers may be used on two-year-old horses and other first-time starters, if the horses are schooled from the starting gate under the supervision of the starter, and approved by the starter and the stewards before the time of entry.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 2.6, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-80. Identifying equipment.

Each horse shall carry a conspicuous saddlecloth number and each jockey shall wear a number on his right arm, both of which correspond to the number of the horse as listed in the daily racing program. In the case of a coupled entry, each horse making up the coupled entry shall carry the same number with a distinguishing letter.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 2.7, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-90. Inspecting equipment.

The paddock judge may, in his discretion, require that bandages on a horse's legs be removed or replaced.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 2.8, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-100. Post parade.

All horses shall parade past the stewards' stand and carry their assigned weight from the paddock to the starting post, unless excused by the stewards from the post parade. The following provisions shall apply to post parades:

1. The stewards, in their discretion, may excuse a horse from the post parade;

2. Any horse excused from the post parade shall be led by an employee of the owner or trainer and shall carry its assigned weight from the paddock to the starting post;

3. After passing the stewards' stand during the post parade, the horses may leave the parade to walk, canter or otherwise warm up on their way to the starting post;

4. The post parade shall not exceed 12 minutes from the time the field enters the racing surface until reaching the starting post, except for unavoidable delays;

5. If a jockey is thrown from a horse during the post parade, he shall remount the horse at the point where he was thrown from the horse;

6. If a jockey is injured during the post parade or a substitute jockey is needed, then the horse shall be returned to the paddock where the horse shall be mounted by the substitute jockey;

7. If a horse leaves the racing surface during the post parade, the horse shall be returned to the racing surface at the nearest practical point to where it left the course and then complete the post parade; and

8. No person shall willfully delay the arrival of a horse at the starting post.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 2.9, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-110. Lead pony and rider.

A horse may be led to the starting post by a lead pony and rider, but the horse and lead pony shall pass the steward's stand during the post parade en route to the starting post. Lead ponies and riders may be excluded from the paddock at the discretion of the stewards.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 2.10, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-120. Outrider.

Outriders shall accompany the horses during the post parade and be positioned to render assistance to a jockey riding an unruly horse or catch a loose horse from the time the horses enter the racing surface until reaching the starting post. The outrider shall not help a jockey riding an unruly horse unless the jockey requests the assistance of an outrider. After the start of the race, the outriders shall position themselves to help jockeys in pulling up horses, catch any loose horses or render assistance to any injured horses.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 2.11, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-130. Post time.

Post time shall be prominently displayed on the closed-circuit television system and, if available, on the infield results board. The starter shall endeavor to get the horses and jockeys at the starting post at post time so as to avoid any delay in effecting the start of the race.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 2.12, eff. September 26, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2002.

Part III
Starting a Race

11VAC10-140-140. Starter.

The horses and jockeys, lead ponies and riders, and outriders shall be under the supervision of the starter from the time the horses enter the racing surface until the race is started. While the horses, jockeys, lead ponies and pony riders are under his supervision, the starter shall:

1. Grant a delay to allow for the substitution of an injured jockey or for the repairing of broken equipment;

2. Load the horses into the starting gate in the order of their post position or, with the approval of the stewards, load the horses into the starting gate by dividing the field and loading the horses from each section simultaneously;

3. Report to the stewards any delay in the start; and

4. Recall the horses from a false start where a starting gate is not used.

However, the starter, in his discretion, may:

1. Allow other jockeys to dismount during any delay;

2. Unload the horses from the starting gate, if there is a lengthy delay in the start of a race; and

3. Load a fractious horse out of post position order.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 3.1, eff. September 26, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2002.

11VAC10-140-150. Unmanageable horse.

If a horse is unmanageable at the starting post, the starter may recommend to the stewards that the horse be excused. If the stewards excuse a horse from a race because it is unmanageable, they shall:

1. Order all money wagered on the unmanageable horse deducted from the pari-mutuel pool and order a prompt refund; and

2. Place the unmanageable horse on the stewards' list.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 3.2, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-160. Starting gate.

Each licensee shall maintain at least two operable starting gates as required by 11VAC10-20-190.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 3.3, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-170. Fair start.

If a door on the starting gate fails to open, a horse is inadvertently loaded into an incorrect post position, or otherwise fails to obtain a fair start, then the starter shall immediately report the circumstances to the stewards. In these circumstances, the stewards shall:

1. Post the "inquiry" sign on the infield results board;

2. Advise the public through the public address system and any other appropriate means to hold all mutuel tickets;

3. Make a determination of whether the horse obtained a fair start after consulting with the starter, other appropriate persons and reviewing the video tape recordings of the race; and

4. If the stewards determine that a horse did not obtain a fair start, they may order a refund on any or all of the portions wagered upon the horse; however, the horse shall be entitled to any purse money earned by its finish in the race.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 3.4, eff. September 26, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2002.

11VAC10-140-180. Nonstarter.

If the horse is declared a nonstarter in a stakes race, futurity or other special event, then any entrance or starting fees shall be refunded.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 3.5, eff. September 26, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2002.

11VAC10-140-190. Assistance prohibited.

Only the jockey may strike a horse at the start of a race. Only the jockey shall be permitted to shout or otherwise assist in breaking the horse away from the starting gate. During the running of a race, no assistance may be rendered by others.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 3.6, eff. September 26, 1991.

Part IV
Post to Finish

11VAC10-140-200. Leading horse.

A leading horse when clear of all other horses in the race is entitled to any part of the racing surface, but no horse shall cross or weave in front of other horses in any way to impede them, cause interference or constitute intimidation.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 4.1, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-210. Interference.

During a race, or while under the starters orders for a steeplechase race, no jockey shall (i) strike, strike at, or touch another jockey or another jockey's horse or equipment or (ii) jostle another horse to interfere with that jockey or horse.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 4.2, eff. September 26, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 18, eff. May 31, 2007; Volume 35, Issue 22, eff. July 8, 2019.

11VAC10-140-220. Third party interference.

If a horse or jockey interferes with or jostles another horse, the aggressor may be disqualified, unless the interfered or jostled horse or jockey was partly at fault or the interference was wholly caused by the fault of some other horse or jockey.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 4.3, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-230. Control of horse.

A jockey shall be responsible for making his best effort to control and guide his mount during the running of the race so that it does not jostle, impede, interfere or intimidate another horse or jockey.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 4.4, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-240. Off course.

If a horse leaves the prescribed course of a race and jumps any fence or goes around any beacon or other obstacle other than those on the prescribed course, it must turn back and resume the race from the point at which it originally left the prescribed course, or be disqualified. A rider who continues in a race on a horse thus disqualified may be fined or suspended, or both. If a beacon or flag is dislodged from its position, it is no longer considered to mark the course and can be ignored by the rider.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 4.5, eff. September 26, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 18, May 1, 2015.

11VAC10-140-250. Ridden out.

All horses shall be ridden to win or finish as near as possible to the first-place horse and show the best and fastest performance of which it is capable in the running of the race.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 4.6, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-260. Easing.

A jockey shall not restrain a horse without adequate cause, even if it has no apparent chance to earn a portion of the purse money. A jockey shall not unnecessarily cause a horse to shorten its stride.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 4.7, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-270. Instructions.

All horses and jockeys are expected to give their best efforts during the race, and any instructions or advice to jockeys to ride or handle their mounts otherwise than to win, is forbidden.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 4.8, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-280. Reversal of form.

The stewards shall consider marked reversals of form and conduct inquiries of owners, trainers, jockeys and any other holders of permits that they deem appropriate to determine whether the horse was deliberately restrained or impeded in any way from winning or finishing as near as possible to the first-place horse.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 4.9, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-290. Use of whip.

Whips are to be used uniformly and the stewards shall conduct inquiries into excessive or non-use of a whip, or the dropping of a whip during the running of a race.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 4.10, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-300. Prohibited equipment.

No device other than the ordinary whip, shall be used to affect the speed of the horse during a race. No sponge or other object may be used to interfere with the respiratory system of a horse.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 4.11, eff. September 26, 1991.

11VAC10-140-310. Weighing in.

After a race has been run, a jockey shall pull up his horse, ride promptly to the clerk of scales, dismount, and be weighed in by the clerk of scales. The following provisions shall apply to the weighing in of jockeys:

1. The winning horse may be accompanied by an outrider after the horse has been pulled up and is returned to the clerk of scales;

2. If a jockey is prevented from returning to the clerk of scales because of an accident or injury to either horse or rider, the jockey may be conveyed to the winners' circle by other means or excused by the stewards from weighing in;

3. A jockey must, upon returning to the clerk of scales, unsaddle the horse he has ridden and no other person shall touch the horse except by its bridle;

4. No person shall help a jockey in removing from the horse the equipment that is to be included in the jockey's weight;

5. No person shall throw any covering over any horse at the place of dismounting until the jockey has removed all the equipment that is to be included in his weight;

6. A jockey shall carry over to the scales all pieces of equipment carried when weighing out, but after weighing in, the equipment may be handed to a valet;

7. A jockey shall not weigh in at less weight than he weighed out, and the stewards shall be informed of any underweight or overweight carried by the jockey; and

8. If a jockey weighs in two or more pounds less than the weight at which he weighed out, the horse shall be disqualified.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-05-01 § 4.12, eff. September 26, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2002.



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