‘Small Adjustments’ Made To Whip Rules After Consult With Jockeys By BHA

A selection of small adjustments have been introduced to the new whip rules, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced on Thursday.

There has been ongoing communication between the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA), senior jockeys under both codes and the BHA, and the rule adjustments are the result.

“We are very grateful to the PJA and to our jockeys, both for the manner in which they continue to adapt to riding under the new rules, and their constructive engagement with the process which has helped bring about these further improvements,” said Brant Dunshea, Chief Regulatory Officer for the BHA. “We will continue to liaise with the PJA and jockeys as we continue the roll-out and embedding of the new rules.”

As a result of this constructive dialogue and the BHA’s monitoring of bedding-in period and implementation, the changes are below:

  1. Repeat Offences:
  • The repeat offenses rule has been change so that Any jockey will be referred to the Independent Judicial Panel following their third above permitted level-only offence within a six-month period.
  • However, a jockey will not be referred to the Independent Judicial Panel after just three ‘technical’ offences.
  • Instead, once a jockey commits five offences of any type (this can be a combination of above permitted level and other misuse offences) within a six-month period they will be referred to the Independent Judicial Panel.
  • Should a jockey be referred for either three above permitted level offences or five offences of any type, then these offences drop off their referral record so a jockey cannot be referred twice for the same offence
  1. Suspension dates: All suspensions imposed by the WRC should start 14-days from its written decision. Having been through the bedding-in period, and with suspensions now being imposed, the PJA and its members have asked to have the option to serve a suspension as if imposed by stewards on a raceday. Therefore, jockeys in receipt of a notice of suspension from the WRC will now have the option of requesting that the suspension commences 14 days after the date of the referral by the stewards, should they not wish to appeal the penalty. Otherwise the suspension will be served 14 days from the date of the WRC decision.
  2. Riding fees: The rule has now been changed such that should a rider be disqualified from a race due to excessive use of the whip they will also forfeit their riding fee.
  3. Whip Review Committee meetings: The Whip Review Committee (WRC) will now switch to meeting twice a week rather than once, with meet rides considered: Tuesday, Previous Thursday – Sunday and Friday, Previous Monday – Wednesday.
  4. Without regard to stride: References to the misuse offence ‘Without Regard to Stride’ (double strike) have been removed from the Whip Guidance. Offences of this nature will now instead be categorised as Without Time to Respond.

For more information, please visit the BHA website.

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