Irish Turf Club issue new whip rules

Updated: June 15, 2012

Jockeys will no longer be allowed to use the whip above shoulder height in Irish racing, after the Turf Club announced changes to the whip rules this morning. However horses will not be disqualified if their jockeys breach the new rules which come into force on 2 July.

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Unlike the rules which caused so much controversy in England last year, no limits will be placed on the number of times a jockey can hit a horse during a race. Determining a breach of the rules for too many strikes will still be at the discretion of the stewards.

Jockeys have been given a clean slate under the new rules so they will receive a caution for their first offence after July 2 but any further breaches of the whip rules over the next 12 months will incur a ban. Bans will increase each time a jockey breaks the rules and the penalties for overusing the whip on beaten horses or for striking the horse in the wrong place have been increased.

The Turf Club set up a Whip Review Committee last September following radical changes to the whip rules in Britain. After wide consultation between the committee and racing stakeholders, it was agreed that there was no need to make drastic changes to the situation in Ireland.

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