Proposal For Phasing Out The Whip

CPR’s proposal released March 2015 was compiled with the purpose of summarising the substantial body of evidence against whip use in Australian thoroughbred racing, with examples predominately being taken from racing in Victoria.

The proposal provides evidence that:

  • There are issues with the whip rules currently in place
  • Racehorses experience physical and psychological trauma as a result of the whip
  • Whip use does not improve racehorse performance or positively influences the outcome of a race
  • Whip use distracts from horsemanship
  • Whip use reflects negatively on horse racing

Recommendations

Based on the evidence presented in the proposal, the CPR strongly recommends that the Australian Racing Board implement the following:

1)     A revision of the current whip rules, with the aim of increasing penalties for breaches so that:

a)   monetary penalties increase substantially with each successive penalty;

b)   mandatory suspension occurs after three breaches with the length of each suspension increasing with each successive breach; and

c)   jockeys who repeatedly show contempt for the whip rules and bring the industry into disrepute may be expelled.

2)      Trainers to also incur penalties for whip rule breaches.

3)      A review and change to the rule that states “In the final 100 metres of a race, official trial or jump-out a rider may use his whip at his discretion”. There is a current greater focus on what strikes occur prior to the 100 metre mark however most strikes occur in the last 100 metres which is also when the horses are most tired.

4)      A revision of the current whip rules to increase scrutiny of whip use in a backhand manner.

5)      New methods for stewards to review race footage, to improve observation and reduce the number of missed whip rule breaches.

6)      Trial whip-free races with a view to phase out whip use entirely.

To download a copy of the proposal please click here: Proposal for the phasing out of the Whip in Australian Thoroughbred Racing March 2015