Calls for Changes to Whip Rules / National / 03 Sep, 2009

The ATA has written to the Australian Racing Board, in conjunction with the Australian Jockeys Association, requesting that they give consideration to amending the new rules relating to the use of the new padded whips, at their meeting on September 10.

The ATA strongly advocated that the new rules be amended to allow jockeys the appropriate discretionary use of the whip over the crucial concluding stages of a race, so that owners, trainers and jockeys are not unfairly penalised by the result of a race, where the rules, as they exist, have been transgressed.

Several recent incidents which have resulted in jockeys being penalised and suspended could arguably have affected the outcome of those races. It is in these instances that the ATA believe that owners, trainers, jockeys and punters are disadvantaged with no avenue available to lodge an official protest.

The ATA is mindful of and recognises the importance of ensuring that whips are not used excessively, and in this regard, accept the introduction of the padded whip and the restrictions before the 200m. However, the new rules, as they stand, in relation to the use of the whip in the concluding stages of a race are unworkable and have the capacity to disenfranchise many of its participants.

While accepting that whips should not be used indiscriminately in races, the ATA believes that the rules of racing provide adequate opportunities for Stewards to penalise jockeys for such breaches of the rules of racing.

The ATA raised these very concerns in its submission to the ARB before the rules were introduced.