Whip has to be banned
While focusing on image, it is time for the whip to be banned which prominent owner Lloyd Williams again endorsed last week. Any rule based on a permissible number of strikes is simply nonsense and a time bomb waiting to explode, one of these days, in a Melbourne Cup or an Everest. There’s been several controversial incidents, of late, in Australia including one rider transgressing aboard a dead-heater who should, logically you’d think, have lost the race if the whip has any bearing on the performance of a horse. If it has no bearing then there’s simply no argument about banning it. If the argument is that they respond to the sound given that the padded whips don’t hurt, then that’s just as silly.
Mimic the sound. There is no compelling argument, with the possible exception of rider safety, for it’s retention. If that’s real then surely the answer is simple. A jockey may carry a whip but it may only be used in extreme circumstances to ensure the rider’s safety and simply not, at any stage, for encouragement. To argue that it has a bearing in that some horses won’t try as hard or run as fast is as nonsensical as counting the strikes. They’ll all be on the same playing field. Some horses don’t run as fast if the ground is too soft or too firm, if they draw too low or too high, if the weather’s too hot or too cold, if the pace is too slow or too fast, if the jockey is male or female, if the float trip is too long or too short. Horse racing will not flounder without the whip but the sport and its image may flourish.