• Horse Racing

Hughes quits in protest at whip ban

ESPN staff
October 13, 2011
Richard Hughes hit More Than Words too often inside the final furlong © Getty Images

Richard Hughes has handed in his riding licence in protest at being slapped with a second ban inside four days.

Hughes was given a ten-day suspension at Kempton on Thursday for striking More Than Words more often than allowed. New BHA rules, which came into effect this week, mean jockeys in Flat races can only strike their mounts a maximum of seven times in total and on five occasions inside the final furlong.

He was also punished on Monday, incurring a five-day ban for hitting Swift Blade six times inside the final furlong - although he said one of those was down the neck in a bid to correct the horse.

"I've handed in my licence as of tonight [Thursday]," Hughes told Racing UK. "I can't ride horses knowing that I'm not doing myself and the owners who pay £100 a time justice. I will only consider starting again if there is a review of the rules. I'd rather sweep roads than do half a job. I've notified Richard [Hannon].

"We're allowed to hit them seven times and both times I've been done, I've hit them six times, which is less than the amount you're allowed and I've got a 15-day ban because of it and I miss the Breeders' Cup.

"They've made the rules so you hit them more, so you have to get two into them before the furlong pole as then you've only got five left. I was always told as a young jockey the last jockey who goes for his whip normally wins.

"They're taking the art of race riding away from me, it's like telling Messi not to use his left foot anymore."

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