France Galop announces disqualification plans for overuse of whip

Jockeys who use their whip nine times or more in races in France will face immediate disqualification from September 1.

France Galop announced on Thursday that regulations would be revised with the stated aim “to further strengthen deterrence against whip abuse”.

Riders in France already face stringent limits on use of the whip, with four strokes the permitted maximum introduced in May this year.

From next month, if a jockey goes five strikes over that limit, their mount will be disqualified by the raceday stewards, before any bets on the race concerned are paid out.

The British Horseracing Authority amended its rules earlier in 2023, with seven strikes allowed over the jumps and six on the Flat. Any rider who exceeds those limits by four or more is disqualified, although that sanction is not imposed on raceday, instead being passed along to the Whip Review Committee, which meets on Tuesdays and Fridays.

There have been a limited number of disqualifications since the British rules were changed, while Jim Crowley came within one strike of the sanction when riding Hukum to victory in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

His nine uses of the whip resulted in a 20-day ban and a £10,000 fine.

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