Whip Strokes Reduced to Five in France

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a riding crop | Sarah K. Andrew

Jockeys in France will not be permitted to strike their mount more than five times in a race beginning Mar. 1, after the Jurisdictional Council of France Galop reduced the permitted number of strokes from six to five, France Galop announced on Wednesday. French stewards are allowed to use their discretion and not discipline jockeys for utilizing a sixth strike until after Mar. 14. For a first-time whipping infraction, jockeys are fined €75 and for the fourth offense, if occurring within two months of the first offense, they will be suspended for eight days. For raising the elbow above the shoulder, a first offense results in a warning, with the penalties increasing until there will be a minimum three-day suspension handed out for the fourth offense if taking place within two months of the first infraction.

“To put this in context, even before we came down from eight to six strikes, there was a feeling among the various international bodies that meet regularly that the aim should be a limit of five,” a spokesman for the stewards’ panel told Racing Post. “In full consultation with the Association of Jockeys, we decided together that we would like France to be a leader on this issue and with that aim, and with their agreement, we are now coming down from six to five permitted strikes.”

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