Leading racing figures form part of whip consultation group

John Gosden
John Gosden (PA Archive)
9:43am, Thu 06 May 2021
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Leading trainer John Gosden plus jockeys Tom Scudamore and PJ McDonald will form part of the Whip Consultation Steering Group which will take an active role in the upcoming public consultation on the issue.

The group draws on individuals from a wide range of backgrounds across the racing industry as well as representation from wider sectors including politics, horse welfare and the media.

Former racecourse stewards’ panel chair, racecourse committee member and racehorse owner David Jones, who is also an independent regulatory director on the board of the British Horseracing Authority, will chair the group.

The consultation aims to gather and assess the viewpoints of industry participants, non-industry stakeholders and wider public audiences, regarding rules, usage and penalties related to the whip.

The future of the whip in racing is to come under the microscope (PA Archive)

Other members of the group include trainer Henry Daly, Sir Michael Stoute’s head lad/assistant James Savage, broadcaster Nick Luck and Aintree clerk of the course Sulekha Varma.

The Steering Group held its first meeting last week and will now work towards finalising an agreed timescale for the consultation process, which is currently planned to run in the second half of this year.

Jones said: “It is essential that the consultation process is fair, open and transparent and the views of all parties are considered.

“In addition, any decisions must be made by those who have a deep understanding and knowledge of the subject matter and who are willing to both represent and consider a range of perspectives.”

Brant Dunshea, chief regulatory officer for the BHA, said: “The whips used in British racing are foam-padded and were designed with input from the RSPCA. Its use in races is subject to strict controls.

“The Horse Welfare Board were clear, however, that the use of the whip is an issue of public trust in the sport, and that the racing industry must be mindful of public opinion if it is to safeguard its long-term future.”

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