08 February 2023

France Galop announces use of whip to be reduced from May 1

08 February 2023

New whip rules will come into effect in France from May 1, France Galop has announced.

The number of times the whip may be used will be reduced from five to four – both on the Flat and over jumps.

France Galop said that between now and the implementaiohn of the new rules there will be an “educational and transitional period from March 1 to April 30”, with jockeys made aware of the new rules when they use the whip five times or more, and that the development is “part of the aim to gradually reduce the use of the whip”.

The stewards will consider use of the whip on the shoulder or neck of a horse when the jockey does not have both hands on the reins as counting towards the permitted number of strikes, while it will be at the discretion of the stewards whether a jockey has used his/her whip clearly and unequivocally for safety reasons rather than misused it. Using the whip above shoulder height is considered a misuse offence.

France Galop added that in conjunction with the latest whip rules specific penalties will also apply to all Group races. A review of the new system will be carried out at the end of the year.

In Britain new rules announced recently have resulted in Flat riders being limited to six uses of the whip, with their jumps counterparts allowed seven – down from seven and eight respectively – following suitable ‘bedding-in’ periods.

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