No comment from BHA on report disqualifications are imminent for use of whip

The British Horseracing Authority declined to comment on reports it will consider disqualifying horses whose riders seriously breach whip rules in major races.

Racing’s rulers are said to be preparing to publish a revised set of regulations taking into account recommendations from the BHA’s whip consultation steering group, with the new rules the end product of a review process that included a public consultation last year.

The report in the Daily Mail suggests that any jump jockey who strikes their mount 12 times in a big race could have their horse disqualified and be suspended for up to a month, with Flat riders penalised in the same way if they were to strike their mount 11 times, although both codes would allow leeway if a rider demonstrates a need to ensure their safety or that of fellow riders.

Sam Waley-Cohen celebrates winning the Randox Grand National on Noble Yeats
Sam Waley-Cohen celebrates winning the Randox Grand National on Noble Yeats (David Davies/PA)

Jump jockeys are currently limited to eight strikes of the whip with Flat jockeys restricted to seven before punishments are handed out.

In the Grand National in April, winning rider Sam Waley-Cohen was suspended for nine days and fined £400 for using his whip above the permitted level from after jumping the last fence and in the incorrect place on the run to the line.

A date for publication of the report is yet to be announced and a BHA spokesperson said: “The whip report is due for publication in the near future. We will not comment on speculation around its contents.”

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The BHA’s director of integrity and regulation Tim Naylor was quizzed about the report at Newmarket on Thursday, but said it “wouldn’t be fair or right” to comment before the report is published.

He told ITV Racing: “It’s been well publicised we’ve carried out a full consultation and that’s been right across the industry, and it had an element of public consultation as well.

“An industry steering group has completed its report and in due course that will be published and it wouldn’t be right for me to speculate on that.

“I don’t know when it will be published, but it will be in due course.

“It wouldn’t be fair and right (to comment) at this time, before the report is published and everyone can see what the recommendations are.”

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