30 March 2023

BHA announce adjustments to new whip rules

30 March 2023

Jockeys who repeatedly break the whip rules with technical offences will be referred to an independent judicial panel after five breaches, rather than three, in a change announced by the British Horseracing Authority on Thursday.

New regulations regarding use of the whip were introduced over jumps on February 13 and came into full force on the Flat this week, with riders allowed six strikes on the level and seven strikes in National Hunt contests.

Riders who contravene the number of permitted strikes on three occasions within a six-month period will still be referred, but those who commit three technical offences – such as using the whip above shoulder height – will not be.

Instead once a jockey commits five offences of any type, which can be a combination of above permitted level and other misuse offences, they will then be sent to the panel.

The Whip Review Committee will now meet twice a week, considering races from Thursday to Sunday on Tuesdays before convening on Fridays to discuss the first three days of the week.

Jockeys will also now have the option of starting bans 14 days on from the date of the offence rather than when a suspension is issued by the Whip Review Committee. This only applies if a rider opts not to appeal the decision.

Brant Dunshea, chief regulatory officer for the BHA, said: “We are very grateful to the Professional Jockeys Association and to our jockeys, both for the manner in which they continue to adapt to riding under the new rules, and their constructive engagement with the process which has helped bring about these further improvements.

“We will continue to liaise with the PJA and jockeys as we continue the roll-out and embedding of the new rules.”

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