British Horseracing Authority postpone jockey whip use consultation

By Cornelius LysaghtBBC horse racing correspondent
The consultation was to have concluded in October
The consultation was to have concluded in October

Horse racing’s consultation into the use of whips by jockeys during races has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In February the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) ordered the investigation after the Horse Welfare Board said that although the numbers of whip offences by riders were down, they remained “unpalatably high”.

The investigation was to have been completed by the autumn and was expected to result in tougher penalties for infringements.

The BHA said: "A new timetable will be agreed at an appropriate point in the future."

Its statement added: "The consultation would require a significant focus from senior officials who are involved in the formation and delivery of the sport’s coronavirus operational plan, and it was intended that the consultation itself would include a substantial element of face-to-face and group discussion."

Supporting the decision to postpone the investigation, Horse Welfare Board independent chair Barry Johnson said: "We are keen to ensure that any consultation on the whip is done thoroughly and well, with maximum involvement from people in the sport, which would be enormously challenging in the current circumstances.

"This postponement will allow British racing to focus on more immediate concerns relating to the welfare of people and horses.

"The Horse Welfare Board will support these efforts in any possible way and applauds the exceptional work that thousands of people in the industry are continuing to do on a daily basis, in caring for future, current and retired racehorses.”

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