Chapter 25: Drivers

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25.01  A person shall not drive a horse in any race or performance against time, other than an exhibition race, without having first obtained a driver licence valid for the current year by meeting the standards as established by Standardbred Canada or the United States Trotting Association and being licensed by the Commission. The licences shall be presented to the Judges prior to participating for the first time at any race meeting. Valid categories of licences are:

  1. A, a full general licence valid for all meetings;
  2. B, an apprentice licence valid for all meetings, subject to satisfactory performance;
  3. C, a beginner’s licence valid for non-extended meetings and for qualifying and overnight races at extended meetings, subject to the approval of the Judges;
  4. F, a fair licence valid for non-extended meetings and fairs;
  5. Deleted.

Failure to comply with this rule shall constitute a violation by the participant.

25.02.01  Drivers must carry their licence on their person at all times while participating. Failure to do so is a violation.

25.02.02  The Judges may review the performance of a driver at any time and may take the following actions:

  1. Amend the licence category;
  2. Revoke the licence;
  3. Apply conditions to the licence; or
  4. Require the driver to re-qualify for his or her licence in accordance with Standardbred Canada regulations.

25.02.03  All Rulings issued by the Judges under Rule 25.02.02 may be appealed to the HRAP. Notice of Appeal is to be lodged in accordance with the HRAP Rules of Procedure. 

25.03  Drivers must report to the paddock judge at least one hour before post time of any race in which they are programmed to drive, unless excused by the Judges.  When programmed to drive in any race that is part of the Daily Double races, drivers must be in the paddock at least one hour before post time of the race which comprises the first half of the Daily Double, unless excused by the Judges. Where advanced wagering takes place on any feature betting race, drivers programmed to drive in such races must make their presence known to the paddock judge prior to commencement of the advanced wagering.

25.04  Drivers must wear distinguishing colours, and shall not be permitted to drive in a race or other public performance unless, in the opinion of the Judges, they are well groomed and properly attired in clean driving outfits. During inclement weather conditions, drivers must wear rain suits made in their colours or made of a transparent material through which their colours can be distinguished. No person may use more than one design at any one time, unless approved by the Judges.

25.05  A driver cannot decline to be substituted by the Judges. Any driver who refuses shall be suspended and may be subject to a monetary penalty.

25.06  Once a driver reports to the paddock he shall not enter the public stands or the betting area until his driving duties for the day have been completed and upon completion of his driving duties he shall not enter the public stands until he has replaced his driving outfit with ordinary clothing, unless he/she has obtained permission of the Judges.

25.07  The Judges may remove a driver at any time if, in their opinion, his or her driving would not be in the best interests of harness racing.

25.08  A driver shall not drive for any other person in a race in which one of the horses he/she trains or owns has been declared into race.

25.09  Drivers shall fulfill all engagements, unless excused by the Judges.

25.10  Any driver programmed to drive in a race shall attend at the race paddock stall assigned to the horse he or she is programmed to drive at least two (2) minutes prior to the commencement of the post parade for the race.