July 12 (Reuters) – The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) published a list of recommendations on Tuesday relating to the use of the whip, saying jockeys must only use it in a backhand position and those who breach the rules must be disqualified.
The recommendations of the Whip Consultation Steering Group said the permitted level for using the whip must be seven strikes on the Flat and eight over Jumps, with any rider using the whip four or more times above that level to be disqualified.”
This is a step in the right direction and probably far too much to expect an outright ban which would be appropriate IMO – and yes, I am familiar with the arguments as to why whips are “necessary”. But we actually have better evidence as to why its not required.
“Horses, on average, achieved highest speeds in the 600 to 400 m section when there was no whip use, and the increased whip use was most frequent in the final two 200 m sections when horses were fatigued. This increased whip use was not associated with significant variation in velocity as a predictor of superior placing at the finish.” Evans & McGreevy (2011)
“Our findings, that whip use is not related to racing integrity, support the normalisation of “whipping-free” races, which we expect to improve horse welfare and social acceptance.” Thompson et al. (2020)
Here is the article on Reuters – Link