ARB Allows Jockey Whip "Discretion" In Last 100m

Thursday, 24th September 2009

The Australian Racing Board announced its "revised set of penalty guidelines that address concerns raised by the Australian Jockey's Association" (over "perceived integrity concerns associated with either unfair advantage or under-performance") while "at the same time ensuring sufficient deterrents exist to ensure maximum compliance with the new whip restrictions". A "right of protest" will be incorporated within the Australian Rules of Racing "allowing connections of a horse to lodge an objection where they believe an unfair advantage has been gained through breach of the whip rules". And the ARB "has reviewed the limits on whip use over the course of a race (introduced on August 1) & determined these are to be reduced" via "new trial arrangements" under which "a rider may not before the 100m mark use the whip in a forehand manner in consecutive strides & may not use it in a forehand manner on more than 5 occasions; furthermore a rider will from the 100m mark to the finish of the race (subject to compliance with all of the other requirements of AR.137A) be permitted to exercise individual discretion in his use of the whip in that closing stage of the race". The ARB "has approved this as a trial which will run to 1 February 2010 & "during this trial period stewards have been instructed to closely police the manner in which this discretion is exercised, with appropriate penalties imposed for deliberate overuse". These changes come into effect this Saturday (September 26).

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