New whip rules set for Tuesday introduction

Further revisions to the rules regarding the use of the whip are due to come into force next week.

The British Horseracing Authority have confirmed further amendments have been made to the controversial guidelines and the changes will come into force on Tuesday – exactly one week before the start of the Cheltenham Festival.

Both the BHA and officials at Cheltenham are eager for the showcase meeting to run smoothly and not be overshadowed by any arguments over the conduct of riders.

The BHA tweeted: “Revised whip rules will come into effect on Tuesday 6 March. Full details to be published on Monday.”

The original whip rules which came into effect in October last year caused a massive outcry with many jockeys falling foul of the rules, including Richard Hughes who briefly relinquished his riding licence in protest.

Riders were allowed over seven strikes in the final furlong on the flat and eight after the last obstacle in a National Hunt race. However, as top names such as Ruby Walsh were punished under those terms, the BHA sought further review in conjunction with the Professional Jockeys Association.

The guidelines were then adjusted last November with further consultation last month. Paul Struthers, chief executive of the PJA, is awaiting final written confirmation of the changes but, save for one matter, he is happy with the proposals discussed.

He said: “We have been in discussions with them but I’ve had nothing formal in writing yet about the new approach to the rules.

“It is coming in on Tuesday and we’re waiting for the final details to circulate to our members. From the conversations we have had with them, as I have said all along, Paul Bittar’s view of this new approach is the same as ours and we will see what is there in writing. There remains one issue of significant concern for jockeys but hopefully we can resolve that in time for Tuesday.”


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