Why Jockeys Should Welcome A Total Whip Ban

Yesterday I asked on twitter and on The Racing Forum if anyone could nominate one person, or group that would be disadvantaged were the whip banned for encouragement. I got no replies that would convince me of the case for keeping the whip. For the record: I have no problem with the whip’s current use; I wish the BHA would leave it alone, but they won’t, so I am looking for other ways to come at the problem.

If I were a competent, fit and confident jockey I’d be calling for a total ban. All it could do is make my job easier:

Removes the chance of being banned for an offence

Lets me use my horsemanship skills on an even playing field

No need to count strokes, or doubt yourself in a finish

No worries about dropping it

Much reduced risk of a horse resenting/veering/hanging

Whole issue put to bed once and for all

Among trainers, owners, breeders … would any be disadvantaged? On breeding, it should help bloodlines by having the most genuine horses winning races. They’d arguably be the soundest too in wind especially, as healthy horses would, I believe, be more likely to go readily forward.

Above all, it would help the sport. The BHA seems dead set on reducing whip use until it is so low, it might as well be banned. Their strategy on this will see us subjected to years and years of it remaining the focus as far as public perception goes. The whole sport needs throughly shaken up, and removing the whip issue once and for all would be a fine foundation for a rebuild.

Joe McNally


  1. On an earlier post on Talking Horses suggesting a whip free race at Cheltenham for one race I commented ‘interesting’. The post was largely derided. I can’t see the issue with trying some whip free races to see what/if any difference is made. I can see the argument for using the whip to straighten a drifting horse but someone better qualified than me would have to say whether the whip is the best means of doing that. As John Francome has supported the abolition of the whip I might tend towards its removal from racing but as my admiration for him is such that if John Francome suggested he take my Mrs indoors for a bout of indoor gymnastics I’d probably see it as eminently reasonable, I might not be the best judge.


  2. Hi joe
    I been to hundreds of race meetings and never noticed a jockey whipping a horse.
    In IRELAND we never hear about the WHIP ISSUE.
    Its annoying no one WRITES TO EDUCATE PUNTERS ABOUT BREEDING regds mike


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.