The British Horseracing Authority approved new guidelines, penalties and procedures regarding the use of the padded whip Tuesday. In Flat racing, the rules will be fully implemented Mar. 27, with a bedding-in period that begins Feb. 27. In Jump racing, the bedding-in period will commence Jan. 9 before being fully implemented Feb. 6. During the bedding-in period, jockeys will be asked to ride under the new rules, however, will not be subject to the new penalty framework.
The core recommendations include:
- Use of the whip for encouragement to be limited to the backhand position only
- Threshold for acceptable use of the whip to remain at seven in a Flat race and eight in a Jumps race
- Development of a whip review committee which is responsible for evaluation of all rides and any necessary sanction or action, to increase consistency and drive ongoing improvement in riding standards
- Increased penalties for offences, including doubled suspensions in major races
Disqualification introduced for offences in which the whip has been used four times or more above the permitted level in all races
Brant Dunshea, Chief Regulatory Officer for the BHA said, “We recognise that some of the new rules are going to take some time to get used to for some jockeys, which is why we have factored in time for communication and education as well as a bedding-in period before the rules and penalties are implemented in full.