Lack of consultation stuns participants
Reaction to the Racing Victoria announcement was mixed, but the Victorian Jockeys’ Association (VJA) and the Australian Trainers’ Association (ATA) both expressed concern that they had not been consulted about the proposed changes, nor had their members been given any advance notice that such an announcement was imminent. “It would have been nice given it does affect our group of people,” Matthew Hyland, chief of the VJA, told Racing.com. “It’s pretty clear cut as to what RV’s position is but it would have been nice to have a heads-up on that and certainly to give our members and our directors some indication as to what was coming.
There has been discussion around the whip ever since last year’s Melbourne Cup. I had some meetings with Giles Thompson around that but over the past four or five months it hasn’t been raised other than the whip penalty template, which was discussed and all the riders expected that was the new template we were working off and that was that but that’s clearly not where RV were leaving it.”
Robbie Griffiths, ATA president, added: “As president, I have been extremely complimentary on how well our industry has dealt with Covid. How united and how strong we’ve been and so I am so disappointed we’ve had something dropped on us like this. What we want on any topic – and this is a big one – is the right sort of consultation. I am really disappointed they did this without consulting. I mean we consult on pretty much everything else. We know that any topic to do with a perception issue like the whip rule needs exhaustive consultation because it’s in everyone’s face.”