Racing Victoria Calls For Whip Use to be Banned

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Mon 7th September 2020

Racing Victoria released a statement on Monday announcing their intent to further tighten whip rules, seeking to move to an ‘ultimate prohibition’ on the use of whips other than for safety reasons in the near future.

The announcement states that the current whip rules are “no longer appropriate and not in the best interests of Victorian and Australian racing, both now and in the long-term”.

“RV will propose that, from 1 January 2021, riders are only permitted to use the whip on a maximum number of occasions throughout the entire race and never in a horse’s consecutive strides. RV is proposing that the maximum number be between five and eight occasions per race.

The current Australian Rules of Racing permit the use of the whip a maximum of five times in non-consecutive strides prior to the 100m mark and at the rider’s discretion in the final 100m of a race where its use in consecutive strides is permitted.”

This developed follows Racing Victoria’s February 2020 stance that national whip guidelines should be tightened, and that such measures are essential for the future of Victorian and Australian racing.

Racing Victoria Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, believes that the whip rules must be in line with community expectations and values to continue to attract fans to the sport, and that these measures will bring Australia’s rules up to international standards.

Racing Victoria CEO Giles Thompson

“As industry leaders, we are charged with not only managing the sport today but ensuring that it remains vibrant and successful for generations to come. Making progress on whip reform is important if we want to retain our existing audiences and ensure that we’re an attractive option for the fans and employees of tomorrow.

“We want to reduce the number of times the whip can be used in Victorian racing, and indeed nationally, from 2021. This would be an important step in the right direction for our industry, one that recognises the progression of community attitudes in the decade since padded whips were first introduced.

“Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and key states in the USA have either implemented or announced significant reductions in permitted whip use and have seen great competitive racing continue. At this time Australian racing has been left behind when it comes to reforms on whip use.

From Muswellbrook to the Melbourne Cup, Will is mad about all things racing and sport. Spent countless hours in the backyard as a child pretending to be Glenn McGrath, and has been known to get deadly late swing with a taped tennis ball.