Whip What?

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 24, 2008 in General Discussion, News | No Comments >>

Is this a new rule to the books? This past meet at Keeneland, riders were given a choice of new whips to use.  Some called them ” fly-swatters,” and some called them many other names. Just to let you know what is next on the horizon, the land down under is taking a closer look at the whip.

Jockeys  may not be permitted to use the whip in two-year-old races if the Australian Racing Board’s draft measures for whip changes are accepted by industry groups.

The board yesterday announced a range of draft measures for changes to the make-up of whips and how they are used. These measures, which also include references to how high a jockey may lift his arm, are to be discussed and either accepted or rejected by sections of the racing industry including major clubs, various state and federal jockey and trainers’ associations, veterinarians and owners’ groups.

Mooted changes include the possibility that whips could be subject to a ban for juvenile horses where jockeys would carry whips but only use them for safety reasons.

The draft measures also include banning the traditional whip in favor of a padded whip, and new specific rules for whip use.

After the consultation period with the industry is finished by the end of January, the board will present a report to racing authorities by February for consideration.

Other draft measures limit the rider’s arm above shoulder height, and ban whip use on a horse that is clearly winning or a horse that has no prospect of improving its placing. Also, restrictions on the amount of in-running whip use and a tougher stance on excessive or unnecessary whip use were put forward.