New whip rules: Plumpton and Catterick the first jumps track to implement stricter guidelines for jockeys | Racing News
The controversial and highly debated new whip rules come into effect in British racing this week, despite calls from a number of leading figures to delay.
A bedding-in period for jockeys and stewards to adjust to the changes has been in force since January 9, but Monday’s jumps fixtures at Plumpton and Catterick will be the first to implement the new rules.
They include stricter guidelines for maximum use of the whip (now seven for jumps riders), with disqualification for the horse if the jockey goes four or more strikes over that threshold.
Leading trainers Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott and Paul Nicholls have all added their voice to the topic, each questioning the timing of the new rules, just a month before the Cheltenham Festival.
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The very worst whip offences could result in jockeys receiving riding bans of up to 20 days.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced last week that it would review “the manner in which the rules and guidance are being applied” both by raceday stewards and the committee but there are no plans to alter any specific rules or guidance.
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A BHA spokesperson said: “The rules being implemented on Monday are the result of a detailed consultation process designed to foster more considered and judicious use of the whip.
“They are being introduced after an extensive bedding-in period which has successfully allowed jockeys and officials to familiarise themselves with the new rules and guidance and identify where improvements can be made to their implementation, or where some jockeys might need to adapt their riding style. This was the purpose of the bedding-in period.
“We are grateful for the input of the PJA (Professional Jockeys Association), NTF (National Trainers Federation) and a number of senior riders and trainers and we have now reached a position where the new rules and guidance will be implemented in the manner in which they were intended.
“We were pleased to note jockeys stating that the responsibility now rests on them to ride within the new rules and adapt their riding style where necessary. We have already seen this happening during the bedding-in period, for which jockeys deserve great credit.”
Watch every race from Plumpton live on Sky Sports Racing on Monday, February 13 from 1.30pm.
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