QRIC introduces Harness Penalty Guidelines

2 February 2023

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission has introduced Penalty Guidelines for the Harness racing code.

For the first time Harness racing participants will have clear and prescribed penalties set out for breaches of the rules of racing in Queensland. 

The Commission enforces the Australian Harness Racing (AHR) rules as constituted by Harness Racing Australia (HRA) and the local rules of racing as adopted by Racing Queensland (RQ).

Chief Harness Steward David Farquharson said the Commission has established penalty guidelines to assist harness racing participants with information regarding a breach of the AHR rules and includes embargoes that may be placed against a horse from racing.

“Harness racing participants will know where they stand when it comes to breaches of the rules and it represents a change in process also providing time periods for suspensions for everyone to see,” he said.

“While there are more than 340 AHR rules, the purpose of these guidelines is to provide a reference for penalties for the most commonly breached harness racing rules.” 

Mr Farquharson said a good example for harness racing drivers is the whip rule
– AHR 156.

“This rule is now clearly prescribed with penalties and time periods set out in the guidelines,” he said.

“The whip rule has various subsections to ensure drivers use the whip correctly and in line with animal welfare and community expectations. These guidelines clearly define penalties that are associated with the misuse of the whip and the timeframes for  penalties that will be imposed.”

The Harness racing guidelines also provide important information for trainers and owners about embargoes that may be placed on horses from racing including for race start offences, causing a false start, atrial fibrillation, bleeding attacks, or intractability during a race.

See the Harness Penalty Guidelines – effective from 1 February 2023. 

Media contact Vincene Overs
0472 842 346