Racing Victoria has decided not to pursue whip free racing in the foreseeable future.
After an RV board meeting on Tuesday night, the industry body released a statement confirming they would not conduct any ‘whip for safety only’ race trials in the near future.
RV has publicly outlined its belief that the current national whip rules are no longer appropriate.
An RV spokesman said they believed whip reform was essential if racing was to retain its existing audiences and, importantly, ensure that it was attractive for the fans of tomorrow.
RV stated that it would always support whips being carried by jockeys on safety grounds and that the industry’s immediate priority would be to reduce its maximum permitted usage to between five and eight times per race, in line with many other leading international jurisdictions.
Officials formally tabled RV’s position at last month’s Racing Australia (RA) board meeting, where it also reaffirmed that it is a willing and active participant in the review of the national whip rules being undertaken by RA’s Riding Advisory Protocols Panel.
It is RV’s hope and expectation that the RA review will be well advanced within the first quarter of next year and that meaningful progress can be realised.
In the meantime, RV will continue to engage with industry stakeholder groups and racing customers in relation to whip reform, including exploring ways to obtain insights into the potential impact of RV’s recommended reduction in whip use.