Friday, February 24, 2012
BHA announces amendments to Whip Rules (UK)

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced forthcoming fundamental changes to the whip rules, together with revisions to the existing penalty structure.

The Board of the BHA has agreed with a proposal to place the emphasis on Stewards to use discretion in reviewing the manner in which the whip is used - while still taking account of frequency – as opposed to the previous system which saw automatic suspensions for jockeys exceeding strict limits. The new rule will be ready for implementation in early March.

Mr. Paul Bittar, Chief Executive of the BHA said “Despite a number of changes to both the rule and the accompanying penalty structure, a rule which polices the use of the whip based solely on a fixed number of strikes is fundamentally flawed. The challenge is to have in place a rule and penalty structure which meets the objectives for fairness and proportionality outlined in the Whip Review while retaining the positives which have been a product of the changes to date. The objective of this proposal is to keep jockeys riding to a similar standard as they are now with regard to their significantly reduced use of the whip, but with added discretion and common sense applied by stewards when considering whether a rider is in breach of the rules.”

The changes to the penalty structure, the most important of which is to remove the multiplier system for repeat offences, will take effect from Thursday 23rd February and will be retrospectively applied to suspensions still to be served.

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