ARB Changes to Whip Rules / National / 23 Sep, 2009

The ATA has welcomed the ARB’S decision to remove restrictions on the use of the whip over the final 100 metres of a race.

ATA Federal President Colin Alderson said that the changes to the whips rules vindicated the ATA position that there should be no restrictions on the number of times that a jockey could use the whip in the final 100 metres of a race.

“The ATA has consistently told the ARB that their changes to the whip rules were not only unworkable, but completely impractical.” Alderson said.

“If the ARB had listened to the advice that we had given them, then the jockeys strike and the unnecessary tension and conflict caused by this issue would have been avoided”, he said.

Following consultation with members, the ATA also proposed to the ARB Integrity Panel, that if the restrictions on the use of the whip over the final 100 metres were not lifted, then a rule change should be made providing connections of a beaten horse with the right to lodge a protest. This has now been adopted by the ARB.

“This issue has again demonstrated that the ARB must undertake a full and proper consultation process with its stakeholders and be guided by their expertise before making hasty changes to the rules of racing, which can only undermine the confidence of the very people whose interests that they are supposed to represent” he said.

The ARB decisions reflect, belatedly, a common sense approach to this contentious issue, which was strongly advocated by the ATA and other stakeholder groups when invited to provide submissions to the ARB at their meeting in Sydney on 10 September.

Click here for the ARB Media Release issued on 23 September outlining the Whip Controls.