Jockeys hit back at whip rule changes   Leave a comment

Jockeys hit back at whip rule changes

The crucial change among rules to take effect from ­December 1 is a limit on the number of backhand hits ­before the 100m mark.

Changes to the whip rules will take effect from December 1.

Changes to the whip rules will take effect from December 1. Source: Supplied

JOCKEYS have accused ­racing authorities of ignoring their wishes on new whip rules.

Australian Jockeys’ Association chief executive Des O’Keeffe said Racing Australia had acted in haste and was being unduly influenced by animal liberationists.

The current rule states a jockey can’t hit a horse more than five times in a forehand motion before the 100m mark, but the backhand motion was unrestricted — provided use wasn’t excessive. Now the limit before the 100m mark is five hits — backhand or forehand.

The jockeys’ body presented the findings of its two-week study of every TAB race in Australia and found a significant variation in the interpretation of the rules from state to state.

“Not one thing we put ­forward was adopted. You’ve got to ask was that a meaningful process?” O’Keeffe said.

“The rule — is it flawed or just the interpretation? We ­believe we would have achieved better results if stewards were better educated.

AJA chief executive Des O’Keeffe said Racing Australia has acted in haste.

AJA chief executive Des O’Keeffe said Racing Australia has acted in haste. Source: News Limited

“What we’re saying is that some riders are getting away with it. It’s just a small number which stewards needed to address — 95 per cent of riders are riding within the rules and they will be penalised by this.

“For a professional giving three hits with the whip at the 300m mark to get a horse going, we can’t see how that’s detrimental to the image of racing.”

Injured jockey Chris Symons said on RSN said there was only a minority of jockeys breaching the rule and that it simply needed to be policed better.

“It’s the same people doing it all the time — they need to be penalised and educated appropriately,” he said.

Trainers have backed the jockeys’ push.

Clinton McDonald tweeted: “Long time ago you used to get into trouble for not trying, now you get told not to try. #worldgoingmad #societygonesoft.”

Originally published as Jockeys hit back at whip rule changes

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Posted July 30, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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