The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced major changes to the new whip regulations after being criticised numerous times by jockeys since they enforced almost a fortnight ago.
As we have previously reported, jockeys have had a bit of a hard time of the new regulations that were imposed by the BHA last Monday. Richard Hughes threw away his licence in protest after the new rules saw him with a 15 day riding ban. Talks held earlier this week to settle the problem between the BHA and the Professional Jockeys’ Association (PJA) were also left unresolved.
The BHA’s announcement detailed the main changes, which include the removal of the rule that jockeys weren’t allowed to use their whip more than five times inside the final furlong, or after the final obstacle.
The rule that allows no more than seven hits in a Flat race and eight over jumps remains the same, but riders will now not only lose their riding fee if suspended for a whip offence. They will also only lose a percentage of their prize-money if their offence earns a ban of seven days or more, rather than the three days the rules originally stated.
The BHA statement read: “The board is committed to the highest standards of regulation in the sport, and 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, and by putting the sport first.”
After battling their little hearts out for better whip use rules since the BHA announced the new regulations, we wonder what will the jockey’s will have to say about the changes…