• Horse Racing

BHA to review new whip ruling

ESPN staff
October 17, 2011
Top jockeys met with the British Horseracing Authority on Monday © PA Photos

Horse racing's governing body has agreed to review the controversial new whip rules after meeting with jockeys on Monday.

The British Horseracing Authority has confirmed it will re-examine the regulations, but asserted that the rules will continue to stand until a conclusion has been reached.

The guidelines, which were introduced last week, have seen a number of top jockeys slapped with heavy penalties for contravening the rules. Richard Hughes handed in his racing licence on Thursday in protest at picking up a second suspension in the space of a week, while a number of jockeys confirmed they would not be riding on Monday, effectively boycotting race meets in protest at the new rules.

Top jockeys including Hughes, Tony McCoy, Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori, as well as trainer John Gosden and chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association Kevin Darley, met with BHA officials on Monday to put their case forward for the new guidelines to be revised.

The BHA insisted the new rules "received widespread support from across the industry", but promised to review the regulations and report back by Friday.

"The Authority's Review of the use of the whip in horseracing was undertaken over ten months by an expert working group involving widespread consultation and evidence gathering from stakeholders across the sport and more widely including animal welfare organisations and the general public," the BHA said in a statement.

"The Board has today reiterated its endorsement of the principles behind the review. The new Rules, adopted by the Authority, received widespread support from across the industry.

"Any change to regulations must be carefully considered and subject to due process. This means that appropriate evidence needs to be reviewed and there will need to be engagement with other relevant parties. The Board has directed the Review Group to undertake this process and report back by no later than the end of the week. Until any changes are made, the current rules will continue to apply.

"The Board would like to thank the PJA for taking the time to attend this meeting and for their constructive engagement and commitment to work for the best outcome for British Racing. The Board and Review group will continue to liaise with the PJA in the coming days."

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