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Moodley’s Double Crop Strike

'Why are we pandering and impressing others?'

KZN jockey Serino Moodley is the latest crop offender in terms of the twelve strike rule to receive a new level fine.

Moodley signed an admission of guilt for a contravention of Rule 58.10.2, as he used his crop more than 12 times when riding Red Herring in the final race at Greyville on Wednesday. He was fined R2500 – which seems to be the highest amount levied since the rule was implemented in May.

Serino Moodley – needs coaching – or is the rule wrong?

In determining the penalty, the board considered Moodley’s recent record – he had committed the same offence in the previous race – as well as the manner in which the crop was used.

So do we just keep nailing him? Or does he get coached? Interesting!

The whip / crop policies implemented by racing jurisdictions was given some interesting thoughts by UK trainer Mark Johnston in an interview with the Racing Post recently.

The most prolific trainer in the history of British racing has claimed that removal of the whip would threaten the very existence of the sport.

He believes the whip is an integral part of racing and any attempts to phase it out could have catastrophic consequences.

Hayley Turner

Hayley Turner

The whip debate has raged on in recent days following Charlie Fellowes’ suggestion his first Royal Ascot winner, Thanks Be, should have been thrown out due to jockey Hayley Turner’s overuse of the whip, with other trainers Sir Mark Prescott and Donald McCain backing a stance that use above the permitted level should result in disqualification.

There have been subsequent calls in some quarters to go even further and ban the whip altogether, with those of the opinion drastic action is required to improve the public’s perception of racing in welfare terms.

However in a passionate response, Johnston said: “There are people who object to us using the whip but when we stop using the whip the next thing will be jump racing and the next thing after that will be racing altogether.

“I think it is wrong because I think you need a whip to ride horses. I get extremely upset by jockeys, usually apprentices, who think the whip is for steering. The reins are for steering, so nearly all safety and correction is with the reins, not with the whip. The whip is not there for safety and correction.

“On the removal of the whip, you’re talking about a flight animal that needs something to induce the flight response. Some of it is induced up to a point and some of it induced because we’ve bred them for it for 300 years. If you turned a horse out in a field it will gallop but it won’t gallop fast and it won’t induce the flight response.

“I think there are physiological and chemical reasons why we need the whip. I’ve likened it to lots of things, including the blackbird in the hedge. You clap your hands and it flies squawking away, it slows down, clap your hands it goes again. When it goes again it gets that endorphin and adrenaline injection, and this is nature’s way of protecting a horse in a finish.

“I think our horses are more at risk of injury – maybe not visible to the public – without the whip. They need the whip to induce the flight response and horseracing is all about the flight response.”

On the disqualification of a horse due to a jockey’s overuse of the whip, Johnston believes the introduction of a limit has had an adverse effect.

He said: “My problem is the rule is wrong and the number of strokes is ludicrous. It was a big mistake pandering to the anti-whip people and thinking if we put on a number on it and start banning jockeys, we’ll satisfy what people want. It was inevitable it was the beginning of the slippery slope to where we are now.

“It might be arrogant to say people now don’t understand but you go back 70 years and most people in government rode a horse. They are totally detached from animals altogether and more interested in votes than anything else. And clearly votes from people who are also totally detached from animals are far more numerous than those who actually understand it.

“We bring in all these rules to be visually more attractive to people who know zero about it and are not interested in thinking about it.”

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12 comments on “Moodley’s Double Crop Strike

  1. Ashleigh says:

    In the UK only 5 crop strikes are allowed. That’s less than half of the 12 allowed in South Africa. You have not mentioned that even once in this article. I find that quite bizarre. Why would you leave such a critical piece of information out of an article of this nature? It’s intrinsic to the context of what Johnston is saying. He is also blatantly saying that the whip is only used to frighten the horse into a flight response, which sounds more than just a little bit cruel. Beat the horse with a stick to scare it into running? Yeah that’s a great image for racing to encourage new investors and customers.

    1. Editor says:

      Is your info up to date?
      The amount of times a jockey’s whip can be used is seven times in Flat races and eight in races over jumps.
      A maximum of five strokes can be administered in the 200m or from the final obstacle.

  2. HH says:

    I have never seen a horse accelerate after 1 strike in the final stages of a 5000m event after battling it out in super heavy going over jumps …. 8 is a disgrace.

  3. Asterix says:

    Some of our youngsters seem to be hardest hit by this new rule. As much as I love Horses I cannot put blame on a young jockey who has spent the last few years of his life being indoctrinated on how to win using such methods. Instead of fining… re-educate and correct the mistakes instead. If the youngster doesn’t “run out his ride” he will get fewer rides! Something is seriously wrong here and it is not Mr Moodley.

  4. Geoff says:

    The worst image ever for a non racing person or i would say a racing person must be seeing a horse whipped after going 3000,- 4000m or more after having just jumped a good number of hurdles . Whips should be banned completely in the latter stages of any hurdle race. And yes in my opinion 12 strikes locally is still too much.

  5. Gavin says:

    Moodley needs to catch a wake up.. It’s not the first time he has done this

  6. Rod Mattheyse says:

    Let’s just stop horseracing and then there will be no need for a twitter profile at the nha to be managed.

    It will also free up some time to get up to date with the facts

  7. Louis Goosen says:

    We have seen it before, in this modern “offended” World in which we live…

    After we ban the whip, what will be the next thing to satisfy the detractors of Racing ? Bitless bridles ? All horses to be raced unshod ? Horses must walk into stalls unaided, no handlers ? Maybe break down all stables and let them run free in massive outdoor areas? Let them train themselves ? No concentrates to be fed and let them be grazers only ? Where will it stop ?

    The simple fact of the matter is that the crops are very well padded nowadays, as opposed to the ones of years ago. When last have we seen welts on a horse from the whip ? Those days are long gone.

    All that we need is a simple control system on the jocks and people out there, explaining this to our detractors, most of whom dont even keep pets, let alone horses. In my opinion, Piere Strydom, who seldom hits his mounts and when he does, it is a gentle backhander, (most of the time just doing the rhythm of hitting, but not making contact) could hit a horse 25 times and do less harm or hurt than some jocks can do with 5 damn hard smacks from their open hands.

    Respond to our detractors with facts, as they obviously dont have them.

  8. Speedyvar says:

    Geezo, Mr.Goosen has just made it harder for us punters to defend the sport that we have loved for the past 60 years plus.
    So a friend(detractor in Mr.Goosen’s eyes) says,this trainer is saying horses ended up with welts from the whip. So for how long was that happening?One year,ten years,40 years,and you were making money on these horses.(Did not want to tell him,actually lost the childrens university fees over that period)’And what did this trainer do about it?Nothing,right.
    And he went on to say,Is this trainer saying you have to own a pet or a lion or elephant before you can open your mouth against the way these animals are treated by circuses.He must have been happy with lions being locked in cages. .
    And before I could close my mouth,he says …So some jockeys are harming and hurting horses with their smacks from their open hands.Shame on you’ll.
    I shake my head and think…Why did Mr.Goosen put me in this position.

  9. Malcolm Draper says:

    I bought my first car on an 80-1 bet on a horse called Canyon Creek who I rode work on. He’d been a champion 3yo. Then he went off form a bit. He dropped in ratings and we got Hamant Ramlugen to make the 48kg weight for the Carbineers Anniversary Handicap. Basil Cooper instructed Ramlugen not to use the crop he said it makes him dig his toes in. He’ll run if he wants to.

  10. Malcolm Draper says:

    Donovan Dillon beat Red Herring by a length with three crop strikes shows that crops don’t determine results.

  11. Speedyvar says:

    “We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.”
    ― Anna Sewell, Black Beauty

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