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    16 June 2023

    Severe Penalties Imposed on Four Jockeys for Excessive Whip Use

    Record-breaking whip bans for four jockeys

    In a landmark decision by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), four jockeys have been given unprecedented whip bans under the totting-up procedure. The BHA disciplinary panel handed out heavy suspensions, with Kielan Woods receiving a whopping 42-day ban – nine of which are suspended for six months – for contravening the whip rules five times in just half a year.

    Other Jockey Bans:

    • Jonjo O’Neill Jr: A total of 21 days suspension – seven of them suspended – was slapped on him after his third offence in six months.
    • Paula Muir: The female rider got banned from racing for an astonishing period of thirty-five days; unfortunately only nine were suspended despite being her third breach.
    • Marco Ghiani: He received twenty-five days suspension with eight being deferred. This was following multiple misuses charges against him.

    The introduction of new stricter regulations governing whips earlier this year has resulted in harsher penalties and reduced maximum strikes during races to seven and six over jumps and flat turf events respectively. In addition, measures popular among riders such as limits to backhand use only were scrapped due to protests from professionals within the sport.

    BHA’s View:

    The BHA has noted promising results since implementing these changes but remains committed to monitoring any data around breaches related to these updated stipulations while engaging relevant stakeholders like senior jockeys under both codes regularly. Any necessary tweaks will be done collaboratively between the regulators and PJA.

    The BHA spokesperson expressed faith in the ability of riders to adjust well and credited them for exhibiting admirable finesse during intense competition held around racing’s main festival events. In conclusion, they emphasized that the new rules aim to improve riding standards across the board and ensure fair play prevails within all races.

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