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How Many Times Should A Jockey Whip A Racehorse?

How Many Times Should A Jockey Whip A Racehorse?

 

A 10-month study by the British Horseracing Authority says jockeys should be able to whip a horse a maximum of seven times during a horse race and eight times during a jumping event. These numbers are half of what they were in the past.

The new rules were met with a mixed response from animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA, the Scottish SPCA and World Horse Welfare. Each organization had input into the stricter set of guidelines which were released this week.

Animal rights group, Animal Aid thought the stricter rules missed the chance to protect racehorses.

“The British Horse Racing Authority has missed a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that horse welfare is amongst its concerns,” a statement from Animal Aid said. “Instead, it has shown once again that horse welfare counts for just about zero in an industry driven by greed and vanity.”

In addition to limiting how often a whip could be used during a race, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) also increased penalties to jockeys who break the rules.

A five-day minimum suspension will be imposed for not adhering to the new limits and jockeys will have to forfeit their riding fee and prize-money. Previously jockey’s received a warning for excessive use of a whip.

Penalties will increase for those who break the rules on more than one occasion, and the second offense will be double of the first. The new guidelines go into effect on October 10, 2011.

Changes to the rules came about after jockey, Jason Maguire, struck a horse named Ballabriggs 17 times during the John Smith’s Grand National race in April. Ballabriggs came in first place, but Maguire was suspended for five days because of excessive use of the whip.

Even Ballabriggs’ trainer Donald McCain agreed Maguire’s actions were abusive.

He said, “I’ve been involved in a couple of meetings and it was obvious something needed doing. I think it needed to be a sensible enough number (of whip strokes) so that people can’t make mistakes. I’d like to think now that everything has been done in the best interests of racing and the horse.”

The new guidelines will not disqualify a horse if the jockey is found to overuse a whip and the owner of the horse will keep their share of the prize money.

 

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Photo from cecphotography via flickr.

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178 comments

+ add your own
4:06AM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

How many times should a horse just kick every jockey that has whipped him?

7:27PM PDT on Mar 20, 2012

Number of times a horse should be whipped = 0
Number of times horse racers should be whipped = as many times as it takes for them to stop racing horses

1:39PM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

NEVER NEVER NEVER SHOULD A HORSE OR ANY ANIMAL BE WHIPPED FOR WHATEVER REASON.. STRING UP THESE JOCKEYS & WHIP THEM INSTEAD.. THEY ARE A HARD BREED OF INHUMAN SCUM OF THE EARTH.. IF THEY KNEW HOW TO RIDE A HORSE PROPERLY THERE WOULD NEVER BE ANY NEED FOR SUCH CRUELTY !
BAN THE WHIP EVERYWHERE & NOW PLEASE !

5:06AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

How about whipping the jockey? Whipping is abusive.

4:54PM PST on Dec 15, 2011

A better test of the jockey would surely be no whip at all. Having said that, I belive (horse & dog) racing should be banned because of the fate that most animals meet when they "retire". Not to some idyllic field or caring home but more often the knacker's yard. We never hear much about how many ex racehorses are killed ever year but, if it's anything like greyhounds, it'll be a hideous death toll.

11:45AM PST on Nov 22, 2011

HATE horse racing,dog racing or any sport that involves animals. Why should they have to run their hearts out for entertainment & money in the 1st place ?

1:32PM PDT on Oct 21, 2011

Horse racing should be done away with, and whips should never be used on anyone or anything living. Period.

11:26AM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

Horseracing is another form of cruelty to animals. No times is
the right answer about whipping a horse. Horseracing should be
done away with along with greyhound racing. After they finish
with them they destroy them.

6:19AM PDT on Oct 16, 2011

@ Diane L: -
"I can tell you that sometimes a crop or whip or whatever, just gives the rider a bit more "leverage" or attention-getting "aids" to a horse that isn't paying attention, or moving in the wrong direction, or whatever?"

Why should the horse be "paying attention" to you? What or who is it that gives you the right to treat a horse, a sentient being, as an object?

If you cannot induce a horse to move "in the right direction, or whatever" without whipping it, then you ought not to be riding at all!

7:20PM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

I say "how about NO times?"

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