Penalties Tweaked Ahead of New Whip Rule Deployment

The previously announced new whip regulations will go into force on Monday, but the way penalties are calculated has been “marginally adjusted” according to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

Following feedback from jockeys, there were further amendments to the rules, and the bedding in period for jumps racing was extended by a week.

Under the new regulations, use of the whip in the forehand position will be allowed, with the BHA having reversed a previous decision to ban it after riders’ objections. However, use of the whip has been reduced to six and seven strikes over the Flat and Jumps races, respectively.

The penalty structure was also strengthened, with the very worst whip offences potentially resulting in disqualification of horses and riding bans of 20 days–a tariff which will be doubled in Class 1 and 2 races.

In its latest update, the BHA confirmed only offences for use of the whip above the permitted level will be doubled and not offences for use above shoulder height. A tweak to how offences are aggregated where multiple offences are committed in the same ride has also been made.

In a statement, the BHA said, “The rules being implemented on Monday are the result of a detailed consultation process designed to foster more considered and judicious use of the whip.”

“They are being introduced after an extensive bedding-in period which has successfully allowed jockeys and officials to familiarise themselves with the new rules and guidance and identify where improvements can be made to their implementation, or where some jockeys might need to adapt their riding style. This was the purpose of the bedding-in period.”

“We are grateful for the input of the PJA (Professional Jockeys Association), NTF (National Trainers Federation) and a number of senior riders and trainers and we have now reached a position where the new rules and guidance will be implemented in the manner in which they were intended.”

“We were pleased to note jockeys stating that the responsibility now rests on them to ride within the new rules and adapt their riding style where necessary. We have already seen this happening during the bedding-in period, for which jockeys deserve great credit.”

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