The British Horseracing Authority(BHA) have announced tougher penalties for jockeys who break the rules with the use of their whip.
From October 10, a new set of rules will be introduced in the interests of the safety of horses in the sport. One of the biggest changes is the amount of times a jockey can use his whip during a race, the maximum is reduced to seven in flat races, and eight over the jumps. However, there is also a limit to how many stokes you can use in the final stages of a race. Flat jockeys cannot exceed five inside the final furlong, whereas their jump counterparts are limited to the same number after the last obstacle is jumped. Those who bet online will welcome the move.
The penalties for jockeys who break these rules will be a lot stricter this time around. Their riding fees and percentage of prize money earned in a race could both be lost, if found guilty. If any trainers or owners are found to have reimbursed their jockeys for their loss, they will be found guilty and liable too. However, the move will mainly be welcomed by people like Paul Nicholls.
Putting things into perspective, if this rule was present during this year’s Grand National, in which jockey Jason Maguire was found guilty of using the whip too often on the winner Ballabriggs, he would have had to surrender his £40,000 purse that he earned in prize money and fees.
The BHA were forced to step up their punishment for the offence because they felt the rule was being broken too often. They are hoping the latest changes to the rules and charges will help stop jockeys from overusing their whip in races in the future.