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Whip Ban

When the new whip legislation came into force at the back end of 2011 it was a matter of time before some of the leading jockeys would be up in front of the BHA answering questions over their use of the stick.

In only a few months top flat jockey Richard Hughes had spontaneously given up his licence over anger about the new whip laws, indicating he couldn't ride to the best of his ability under the new rules, before returning to the saddle days after.

Both Ruby Walsh and AP McCoy had faced the wrath of the stewards' room with the former questioning his career in the UK, exclaiming it would not be worth travelling over from Ireland in case he picked up a ban.

In January 2011, over 100 days were given out in bans with amateur Robert Cooper picking up a gargantuan 52-days, whilst Robert Winston was another to taste a lengthy ban with a 22-day ban for his second whip offence in a 12-month period.

However, in mid-February there were decisions made by the BHA to make fundamental changes in time for the Cheltenham Festival with jockeys' triggering a review if they go over eight hits for the flat or nine for the jumps.

The stewards' will then look at each ride individually and make an assessement on whether the jockey deserves to be banned.  Furthermore, penalties for whip offences are to be reviewed with yet again stewards' using discretion over the penalty given for a rider breaking the rules.

Below we look at the rules that will trigger the stewards' to look at a riding offence.

Whip Rules

  • Jockeys can use the whip eight times in Flat races and ninetimes over jumps
  • Jockeys exceeding the limits will be reviewed, as to severity of ride
  • Jockeys will forfeit their prize money if they have been deemed to severely break whip laws

Cheltenham Festival Whip Ban

During the Cheltenham Festival the whip debate is certainly going to rumble on with national hunt jockeys battling it out up the energy-sapping Prestbury Park hill to try and etch their name in Festival history.

So, it surely won't be long before some jockeys are in the stewards' room trying to argue their case for using the whip more than the allocated numbers and there will definitely be a high profile ban during the four-day extravaganza.


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