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BHA Compromises On New Whip Rules

Monday, 24th October 2011

The British Horseracing Authority announced major changes to its controversial new whip regulations, including the scrapping of the new rule limiting a jockey to 5 strikes in the final furlong on the flat. Jockeys will still be limited to 7 strikes during a race, but these can now all be in the final furlong. Other changes mean jockeys will not lose their riding fee, just the percentage of prize-money if their offence results in a ban of 7 days or more. The BHA statement noted: “The board is committed to the highest standards of regulation in the sport & ensuring that British Horseracing continues to lead the way in matters of equine welfare. This is a sport not without its challenges, but they will always be outweighed by the sport's strengths. These challenges will best be  met - and are being met - by finding a common purpose amongst the sport's participants & by putting the sport first.” BHA director of raceday operations Jamie Stier added: “We haven't so much come to a compromise, we've acted as a responsible regulator should. We've listened & heard further from our stakeholders during this week, we've then acted quickly in a measured, decisive way & we've gone about implementing the changes as quickly as we were able to.” The Professional Jockeys Association commented: “The PJA is pleased that the BHA has recognised that the new rules over the use of the whip did require amendments, especially in regard to the limitations on the use the whip in the final furlong & after the last fence in flat & jump racing, respectively, as well as in regard to the forfeiting of riding fees. We are pleased that the impact & the effectiveness of the rules will be constantly monitored & jockeys will wish to be fully consulted. There are still serious concerns about the level of penalties for minor infringements of the rules.” Meanwhile all penalties from last week which would not have resulted under the new rules have been rescinded.”

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