THE Philippine Racing Commission, the government body tasked with supervising and regulating horseracing, is updating the agency’s ‘Bluebook’, or handbook of Philippine racing rules and regulations (PR), to reflect the latest amendments.
The most recent version of the Bluebook dates to 2010 and was published during the chairmanship of lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II. (An e-copy is available for download at philracom.gov.ph.)
Prior to that was a version dated 2001. The cover of this version was blue with the text also in blue, but that’s not where its name comes from. One definition of ‘bluebook’ is “a book of specialized information often published under government auspices.”
The book’s actual title is simple—“Rules and Regulations on Horse Racing.” It is a slim volume that starts off with the Philracom charter, Presidential Decree No. 420. What follows are the PR, a dynamic collection of rules that undergo changes throughout the years as developments occur in the sport and in the industry.
For example, the 2010 version has a section titled “Dress Code for Jockeys” (PR 29-D) that lists the gear that must be worn by jockeys competing in a race and particularly lists International Federation of Horseracing Authorities standards for helmets and racing safety vests. In the 2001 version, vests are mentioned only in a general fashion: “use of the safety vest by all jockeys…”
Most amendments, however, are concerned with PR related to the conduct of races.
The draft of the latest version of the Philracom Bluebook is now undergoing scrutiny by the agency’s legal and licensing departments. The team involved with the book’s editing hope to finish its task by June this year, with printing to proceed after the Commission has approved the manuscript.
Because it contains specialized technical material, the print run will most likely be limited and prioritized for the use of those actively engaged in the sport, particularly racing officials such as stewards and judges, trainers, jockeys, and horseowners.
It is always helpful to have a printed copy of the rules handy, and books are easier on older eyes. They also allow highlighting and the addition of marginal notes, something that e-copies cannot let the reader do.
We look forward to the publication of the revitalized Bluebook. It will certainly be an important achievement of the current Commission —Chairman Andrew Sanchez and Commissioners Ramon Bagatsing Jr., Bienvenido Niles Jr., Victor Tantoco, Will de Ungria, Lyndon Guce, and Jose Gutierrez Santillan Jr.
Kudos to everyone at Philracom as it continues to provide quality services to its public, to the sport, and to the industry.
Dr. Ortuoste is a writer and communications consultant. Facebook: Gogirl Racing and @DrJennyO, Twitter: @hoarsewhsprr and @jennyortuoste