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Stipes Now Count Whip Strikes

12 strikes maximum in a race

The whip – or some euphemise it to the use of the more public friendly ‘crop’ – has been a lively subject of debate this year.

We have whipless races, hands ‘n heels races and, in between, we have now made the monitoring of the use of the stick more complicated.

If we can’t get seven stall-gates correct in a low pressure maiden plate, are we pushing the envelope trying to count seven jockeys’ crop strikes?

As of last Friday at Fairview, Guideline M relating to the use of the crop was amended to disallow hitting a horse more than 12 times in the race.

The NHA advises that the general use of the stick will be monitored until 31 May.

Until this date, the limit of 12 crop strikes will apply.

However, the definition of the strike during this period is that when the crop makes contact with the horse and the rider’s hands are not on the reins – that is, a slap, smack or tap on the shoulder will not count as a strike.

The Paulick Report says that in the hubbub of the Kentucky Derby disqualification drama, replays and still images have been analyzed and watched thousands of times as viewers try to get a handle on Maximum Security’s path of travel and the resulting domino effect.

One thing people probably weren’t looking at closely, however, was the whips the jockeys were carrying.

All riders in this year’s Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby went to the post with the new 360 Gentle Touch (360 GT) riding crop, engineered by retired Eclipse Award-winning jockey Ramon Dominguez. Riders at Laurel Park adopted the crop’s use in April.

Until the DQ of Maximum Security took center stage, the use of the whip (often referred to as a “riding crop” in an attempt at rebranding) was one of the central debates in racing, prompted by The Stronach Group’s suggestions earlier this year it would do away with the whip for any purpose other than safety or correction of a drifting horse. That declaration, which became a rule unanimously approved by the California Horse Racing Board, was met with displeasure by the Jockeys’ Guild, which claims its members need the whip. Horseplayers weighed in to suggest they preferred riders to use them for encouragement. On the opposite side of the aisle, animal rights groups have long demonized use of the whip, adding it in a long list of perceived abuses in the sport.

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12 comments on “Stipes Now Count Whip Strikes

  1. Ian Jayes says:

    Good jockeys do not whip horses. Guillermo Figueroa was a classic example of effective hands and heels riding.

  2. Steve Reid says:

    Judging by some recent actions undertaken by our stipes, I would seriously wonder whether counting to twelve is within their capabilities.

  3. Geoff Clark says:

    12 Strikes is still too much.

  4. Francois van Ghent says:

    e) Jockey C Zackey signed an admission of guilt for a contravention of Rule 58.10.2 in that whilst riding SPECIAL BLEND he used his crop more than 12 times in the entire race. He was fined R1000. ????????????

    I don’t know why they jockey just gets a fine and the horse is allowed to win the race while rules are broken….? boggles my mind….

    If the jockey knowingly breaks a rule, he knows that the worse case scenario is he will be penalized with a weeks suspension from riding, or a R1000 fine….

    Who is fooling Who here?

  5. Francois van Ghent says:

    Ian Jayes says:
    11th May 2019 at 9:44 am
    There should be a list of offences and a list of penalties for those offences. Anywhere else where there is proper control those horses would have been disqualified.

  6. perd says:

    you wasting your time steve commenting on stipes in this country angels power won at the vaal last week go and see how many times the horse was hit last 200m that why khumalo never rode a horse where i had major share in horse

  7. Roderick Mattheyse says:

    Francois, I am only aware of a disqualification for the incorrect use of the whip happening in the apprentice hands and heels races in the uk – I have not come across a disqualification in any other race – it would be interesting if this was the case, do you have any instances on record?

    I would imagine that the punters would be infuriated – and Hollywood would be paying out 2 winners.

  8. Roderick Mattheyse says:

    Perd the rule implementation was only on Friday .. I expect to see the number come down to 8 very soon

  9. The Dark Duke says:

    I would recommend that the NHRA get it’s house in order before it worries about the bunny huggers. A horse should never show welts but a few cracks to get the mind on the job is often needed.

  10. Donatela says:

    Francois van Ghent clearly has a problem and should get over himself
    You dono what you talking about and you making yourself look like a fool
    This whip rule is pathetic and it’s just going to bring more crookery into this game
    The jocks were taught at there academy to ride the horse out till the end now with in a matter of 1 Day they must learn to ride a horse differently

  11. Francois van Ghent says:

    What are you talking about Donatela…????

  12. Francois van Ghent says:

    Donatela you are clearly right….. just read slowly and try to understand what the issue is… rules is not there to break, by breaking the rule on whip use creates an unfair advantage to the rule-breaker because he can encourage his horse while the “rule-abiding” jockeys can just drop their whips after 12 strikes, or face a fine or a penalty….. why bring the rule in if the jockeys can abide by the rule? The same jockey did the same rule-breaking in the next meeting and there the fine was even less than in the first case? What a joke? and you want to call me a fool? so the more you break the rule the smaller the fine will become… I do have a serious issue… the fine did not have any effect on the jockey so i respectfully request the NHRA to refund the jockey his money and to scrap the rule…. Thank you

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