The BHA’s Whip Review Committee published its first report since implementing its revised whip rules for Jump racing, and the hysterical fury and outrage it generated from racing fans and pundits was quite something.
Amongst other ludicrous over-reactions, the BHA were accused of “accelerating the death of the sport” and “bringing the sport into disrepute” for dishing out 20 bans for jockeys of varying experience, as well as disqualifying one horse, a first for British racing. This, if you believe social media, would surely lead to jockeys going on strike.
The jockeys will not strike, and they have generally been receptive to the new rules and willing to help with their implementation. There are always going to be teething problems when new rules and restrictions are introduced, and it seems inevitable that jockeys will adjust their use of the whip accordingly in light of these bans.
Charlotte Jones, who used the whip four times more than the limit on the disqualified Lunar Discovery, will surely not be making the same mistake again. The rules and limits that the BHA have introduced are by no means prohibitive, particularly compared to other jurisdictions such as thriving France, where racing is very much alive.