Coach Kim Bailey on racing’s new whip guidelines: ‘Public notion is vital’

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  • Kim Bailey shares his ideas on the brand new whip guidelines and listening to these on the entrance line

    Racing has suffered some somewhat unflattering headlines over the previous 12 months, comparable to “A 12 months to save lots of racing”. Attendances are crashing, discipline sizes are traditionally small, the Levy Board has warned of “difficult circumstances forward” in addition to affordability checks in the case of betting. However none extra so than the upcoming rule introduced final July on the persuader, extra generally referred to as the whip.

    A 20-body steering group advised dramatic modifications in its use and new penalties for jockeys if the principles have been damaged. The largest change was how the jockeys held the whip when driving a end – the forehand place was to develop into unlawful, and solely the backhand place can be allowed.

    A number of months later and after lots was written in regards to the new guidelines, the jockeys, by means of the Skilled Jockeys Affiliation (PJA), determined sufficient was sufficient and that the principles wanted amending earlier than it was too late.

    First, they felt that the forehand place was safer, simpler and had much less affect on the horse as they have been focusing on the hindquarters of their horses, whereas the backhand place led to the ribs of horses coming in line, which is an space of the horse that’s far much less padded than the rump.

    Discussions have been held between the PJA and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). The PJA pushed for retaining the backhand place when utilizing the whip and traded the variety of hits and penalties. In addition they insisted that the phrase “discretion” be eliminated when being utilized by the stewards round interpretation of whip offences – guidelines are guidelines.

    Surprisingly, the ruling physique backed down and the principles have been adjusted. Many thought this to be a typical present of weak point from the BHA, however I commend them for listening to the individuals on the entrance line.

    I consider racing has come away stronger – not that each one will agree. However all I now ask is let’s cease speaking and writing in regards to the whip and get on with the game all of us take pleasure in.

    Richard Forristal, editor of the Irish aspect of the Racing Submit and an ex-jockey himself, mentioned that the BHA has gone too far down this rabbit gap in an effort to placate a minority hell-bent on racing’s destruction, who’ve been emboldened by their succession of triumphs over the previous decade or so.

    In fact, in lots of respects he’s proper however on a broader observe the whip is utilized by practically each rider throughout the self-discipline within the equestrian world. Public notion is every thing and hitting horses or animals generally will all the time create a trigger for fear. No less than we’ve got moved a big approach ahead since I first began coaching.

    On a brighter observe…

    Let’s transfer to the brighter aspect of racing. Structure Hill shines like a beacon on the hurdling stage whereas Bravemansgame was wonderful within the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

    If you happen to have been fortunate sufficient to spend a number of hours in entrance of the ITV Racing protection over the Christmas interval, you’d have seen some actually wonderful racing from Eire. Trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott have been massively dominant, however what magnificent horses they’ve and what very good racing they produced.

    The second half of the season is now upon us, with the Cheltenham Pageant quick approaching and the evenings starting to elongate. Trainers are at the moment filled with horses however the future will not be trying so vibrant with workers shortages, pay rises and fewer prize cash simply among the extra distinguished points we’re dealing with.

    Let’s not stroll round with our eyes closed – we have to do one thing as racing nonetheless has a lot to supply.

    What do you consider racing’s new whip guidelines? Tell us your views at, together with your title, native city and county to be thought of for publication in a future difficulty of Horse & Hound journal

    • This unique column will even be obtainable to learn in Horse & Hound journal, on sale Thursday 12 January, 2023

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