• Horse Racing

Fox and Hughes fall foul of new whip rules

ESPN staff
October 10, 2011
Richard Hughes faces a five-day ban © Getty Images

Kieren Fox and Richard Hughes were the first jockeys to fall victim to the controversial new whip rules in racing.

From October 10, new BHA rules see jockeys in Flat races only allowed to strike their mounts a maximum of seven times in total and on five occasions inside the final furlong.

There was plenty of attention paid to the three meetings at Salisbury, Windsor and Yarmouth and the stewards were in action at Salisbury - with Fox hit with a 15-day ban for his winning ride aboard Orthodox Lad, while Hughes incurred a five-day suspension for his third-placed ride aboard Swift Blade.

Hughes hit his mount six times inside the final furlong, but one of those strikes was down the neck in a bid to correct his horse and the jockey feels he was harshly treated.

"I'll have to go back to school to learn how to count," Hughes said. "I knew exactly what I was doing and I was aware - I hit him down the neck for correction matters, nothing else.

"I rubbed him once before and he was leaning in, so I flicked him one down the neck, purely to keep him straight.

"They said you aren't allowed to use your stick as correction and I was under the impression you were allowed to do that.

"If I let him bump the other horse, I'd have got two days.

"I feel a bit hard done by as I thought it was a corrective measure and nothing else, but they said six is six."

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