Two Jockeys Suspended Under Britain's New Whip Rules

Two British jockeys received suspensions for excessive use of the whip during races at Salisbury Racecourse in Wiltshire, England, Oct. 10, the first day that stiffer whip use penalties went into effect in that horse racing jurisdiction.

According to a ruling by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) stewards, Kieran Fox has been suspended 15 days as a result of his whip use aboard Orthodoxlad during the final two furlongs of the horse's win at Sailsbury. Likewise, jockey Richard Hughes was handed a five-day suspension for the same offense in the final furlong of his ride on Swift Blade, who finished third in his race.

Under revised BHA rules, jockeys found to have used the whip excessively will face a minimum suspension of five days; the previous minimum penalty was a caution, but the BHA found that was not an effective deterrent for whip overuse.

In late September, the BHA published the report, Responsible Regulation: A Review of the Use of the Whip in Horseracing, after concluding its detailed review into the use of the whip in horse racing, which first commenced in November 2010. The Review will led to significant tightening of the rules and penalties relating to the use of the whip by jockeys, as well as a renewed focus on jockey training, to ensure that the best equine welfare standards are maintained throughout the sport, the authority said in a press release.

The whip can now only be used a maximum of seven times in a Thoroughbred flat race and eight times in a jump race, including only five times in the last furlong or after the last obstacle. It is about half the number of times a whip could be used previously. A jockey that incurs a whip ban of three days or more will forfeit his riding fee and purse percentage.

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The Blood-Horse is the leading weekly publication devoted to international Thoroughbred racing and breeding. Since 1916, the staff of The Blood-Horse has served the Thoroughbred community with the highest standards of journalistic excellence to provide comprehensive and timely editorial coverage and analysis.

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