Consultation on the use of the whip in racing

Posted on the 29th July 2021

The British Horseracing Authority has launched a public consultation on the use of the whip.

You can help our campaign calling for a ban on the use of the whip - for any reason other than extreme cases where safety is at risk - by completing the consultation.

Most of the questions are just tick-box options. We have pasted below Animal Aid's responses to the questions as a few of them do not present a clear option.
The consultation closes on 6 September 2021.

It can be found here: https://consultation.britishhorseracing.com/whip-review/use-of-the-whip-in-british-horseracing/ (there are a couple of introductory pages before you reach the start of the consultation)

Section 1: “To help us analyse the responses we receive, we would like to understand more about you”

Q1-3) Questions about whether you are an individual or a representative of an organisation

Section 2: Additional Information

Q1) This asks you about what capacity you are answering. The most likely answers for our supporters are :

  • Member of the general public (Non race goer)
  • Race goer/television racing viewer
  • Other

Q2) This question asks if you have any previous experience working in the racing industry. It is compulsory to answer, eg ‘not applicable’

If you work/have previously worked within the Racing Industry, please indicate here and include any details you feel will help us to make best use of your responses (example, your industry/equestrian experience).

Q3) Asks if you have worked directly with horses – supporters may wish to indicate their level of interaction with horses.

How often do you/have you worked professionally/directly/hands-on with racehorses/horses?  

Section 3: “Warm Up”

Q1) This asks you if you found the Introduction information useful – please answer honestly

Section 4: “The racing whip in British Racing

Q1) This is a tick box option. There is also a box for you to add your own comments.

With reference to the racing whip penalties, as outlined in the “Summary of the existing racing whip penalties” above, does the existing framework offer an appropriate deterrent for breaches of the racing whip rules?

Animal Aid does not consider them to be strong enough.

Q2) This is a drop down box. There is also a box for you to add your own comments.

To what extent do you agree or disagree that the existing penalties for “the use of the racing whip above the permitted level” are appropriate to the rule breach?

Animal Aid strongly disagrees.

Q3) This is a drop down box. There is also a box for you to add your own comments.

To what extent do you agree or disagree that the existing penalties for “use of the racing whip above shoulder height” offer an appropriate deterrent for breaches of the racing whip rules?

Animal Aid strongly disagrees

Q4) This is a drop down box. There is also a box for you to add your own comments.

To what extent do you agree or disagree that the existing penalties for the “use of the racing whip with excessive force” are appropriate to the rule breach?

Animal Aid strongly disagrees.

Q5) This is a drop down box. There is also a box for you to add your own comments.

To what extent do you agree or disagree that the existing penalties for “racing whip modification offences”, where the racing whip has been changed to increase its effect, are appropriate to the rule breach?

Animal Aid strongly disagrees.

Q6) This is a drop down box. There is also a box for you to add your own comments.

To what extent do you agree or disagree that the existing penalties for “repeat racing whip offences by the same jockey”, are appropriate to the rule breach?

Animal Aid strongly disagrees.

Q7) This is a drop down box. There is also a box for you to add your own comments.

To what extent do you agree or disagree that the existing penalties for “use of the racing whip when not in contention” are appropriate to the rule breach?

Animal Aid strongly disagrees.

Q8) This question has options to choose agree, disagree or don’t know. Feel free to suggest alternative – polite – alternative names for the whip)

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

Agree Disagree Don’t know
Renaming the racing whip would aid public understanding of its use.

Section 5: Racing Penalties section

Q1) This is a tick box option.

To what extent do you agree or disagree, that the current racing whip rules and penalties, in the link above are appropriate?

Animal Aid strongly disagrees.

Q2) There are multiple questions in this part – please see below for how we answered. There is an additional box for your comments.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements, relating to the current racing whip rules and penalties?

Strongly agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly disagree
· No change is needed to the current jockey penalties structure Animal Aid strongly disagrees.
· The Stewards should have even more discretion when applying penalties (To increase or decrease them) Animal Aid strongly disagrees.
· The current jockey suspensions are sufficient. Animal Aid strongly disagrees.
· The current suspensions for jockeys should be increased. Animal Aid strongly agrees.
· The current suspensions for jockeys should be decreased. Animal Aid strongly disagrees.
· The financial penalties including fines and /or removal of jockey’s share of the prize money should be increased. Animal Aid strongly agrees. Animal Aid strongly agrees.
· The jockey penalties for higher value and/or Group/Graded races should be increased. Animal Aid strongly agrees.

 

Q3) There are multiple options in this next question.

In your opinion who should be penalised for breaching the current racing whip rules and penalties?

Animal Aid thinks that The Trainer, Jockey and the Owner should be penalised

Section 6: Disqualification Considerations

Q1) This is a tick box option. There is also a box for you to add your own comments.

If the jockey is found in breach of the racing whip rules in a race, should the horse be disqualified?

Animal Aid answered ‘yes’

Section 7: Use of the racing whip for encouragement

Q1) This is a tick box option. There is also a box for you to add your own comments.

What is your opinion on the use of the racing whip for encouragement within horseracing? (Continued use of the racing whip for safety is assumed and is not under consideration here)

Animal Aid ticked the box that stated “The racing whip should not be used for encouragement in racing.

Section 8: Use of the racing whip for encouragement, continued

Q1) This is a tick box option. There is also a box for you to add your own comments.

In your opinion should there be a racing whip count? i.e. how many times it can/could be used in a race?

Animal Aid answered ‘yes’ – we believe the whip should be used 0 times during a race.

Q2) This question allows you to write your own opinion in the boxes or you can leave it blank.

If the consultation determined that the use of the racing whip for encouragement should continue to be allowed, what do you think is the best way to interpret the rules for use in Flat and Jump races.

Q3) This is a drop down box with a box for you to leave comments.

These are leading questions because there is no option for zero whip strikes. You may like to use the comments box to call for a total ban on the use of the whip for encouragement. Or you can skip to the next question.

If the consultation determined that there should be a limit on the number of times a racing whip can be used in a race, for encouragement, what do you think the limit should be?’ (Currently Flat 7 and Jumps 8)

  • Limit on the number of times a racing whip can be used in a flat race.
  • Limit on the number of times a racing whip can be used in a jumps race.

Section 9: Use of the racing whip for encouragement, continued

Q1) This is a tick box option. There is also a box for you to add your own comments.

Animal Aid ticked the box which stated “Change the rule to allow jockeys to race without carrying a racing whip”

Q2) This is a tick box option. There is also a box for you to add your own comments.

Would your engagement with racing change, if the racing whip was removed for encouragement?

Animal Aid ticked the box which stated “Yes, it would have a more positive effect on my engagement.”

Section 10: The use of the racing whip Internationally

Q1) This is a free text box. Please use your own words to suggest that Britain should ban the use of the whip for encouragement.

Considering the IFHA guidance and the interpretation of the guidance by other Racing Authorities, are there any aspects/rules in use in other Racing Authorities that should be adopted by the BHA?

Additional comments or suggestions of aspects/rules that should be considered by the BHA.

Q2) This is a drop down option. There is also a box for you to add your own comments.

In your opinion should the BHA continue to work towards international harmonisation of the racing whip rules?

Animal Aid chose ‘No’

Section 11: Other Considerations

This is a free text box. Please use your own words to ask that Britain should ban the use of the whip for encouragement. Please add in your own feelings about the whip and its use of horses. You may like to look at our website for up to date studies on the use of the whip.

Please use the text box below to add any comments, suggestions, thoughts or ideas that you would like the BHA to consider, and/or discuss in more detail at Focus Group and Steering Group Meetings, relating to the racing whip and its use?

Comments, thoughts or ideas that you would like the BHA to consider, relating to the racing whip.

Section 12: Follow up to this Consultation

This section asks if you’d like to be part of a Focus Group. You can either fill this in or leave it blank. NB Questions 4 & 5, You don’t need to fill in your name and email address although there is no way to check that your response has been received if you leave those sections blank.

  1. Would you be interested in volunteering to take part in a Focus Group to further discuss this consultation?

(Required) *Yes No

*Please add your name, email address, first part of your post code (i.e. LE16) and telephone number.

  1. Please indicate your availability to join a Focus Group.
  2. What is your preferred method of participating in a Focus Group?
  3. What is your name?
  4. What is your email address?

If you enter your email address, then you will automatically receive an acknowledgement email when you submit your response.

Email / I would prefer to submit an anonymous questionnaire.

  1. Where do you currently reside?

Drop down list

  1. Will you allow the BHA to publish your name with any quotes taken from your replies to this consultation?

Yes No

Then press ‘submit’ to send your response.

If you provided an email address you will be sent a receipt and a link to a PDF copy of your response.

 

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