Use of the whip in horse racing.

In 2018 the subject of whips in horse riding was discussed in parliament after a petition had gathered the required 100,000 signatures. It is worth remembering that many top tories are heavily involved in horse racing.

The Professional Jockey Association (PJA) wrote this letter out to all their members, this is the first page, you can read the entire 4 page document here.

In February 2020 the Horse Welfare Board, published their report “A Life Well Lived” the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced:
“before today the sport did not have a single, overarching welfare strategy that coordinates the contributions made by all parts of the industry, with an ambitious vision for every horse bred to race. As such, it has the full support of the BHA and its members, representing competitors and racecourses.”

The report having taken 5 years to write actually didn’t have the full support of the BHA until it had been modified. In this internal email to BHA board members it was clear the use of the whip and restrictions on it’s use needed to have it’s language modified and put at the end of the report where it was less likely to be noticed.

The BHA then passed on a response:

And so a Whip Review Steering committee was formed, the details of what that committee work involves can be read here.

On the 20th April 2021 this email was sent out to the Whip Review Steering committee listing those involved and asking for the members to remain confidential:

It seemed that someone in the group didn’t read the email or didn’t care about confidentiality as the following day this email was sent out:
On May 5th 2021 a press release with all the committee members and the outline of what they were hoping to achieve was sent out, you can read all 3 pages here.
The BHA clearly concerned about what the press are saying about it’s new committee sent this telegraph article out:

The BHA would like to present the steering committee as being independent, yet they have their own people embedded within it and nearly all the people involved seem to be part of the racing industry. Full document here:

The group has scenario planning, which it intends to run between July 20th-23rd 2021:

The list of documents below are reports that have been shared amongst committee members:

Whip use and race progress are associated with horse falls in hurdle and steeplechase racing in the UK 2004

An Investigation of Racing Performance and Whip Use by Jockeys in Thoroughbred Races 2011

A Critical Analysis of the British Horseracing Authority’s Review of the Use of the Whip in Horseracing 2015

Changing Human-Animal Relationships in Sport: An Analysis of the UK and Australian Horse Racing Whips Debates 2016

Is Whip Use Important to Thoroughbred Racing Integrity? What Stewards’ Reports Reveal about Fairness to Punters, Jockeys and Horses 2020

A Comparative Neuro-Histological Assessment of Gluteal Skin Thickness and Cutaneous Nociceptor Distribution in Horses and Humans 2020