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Jockeys welcome new whip use ruling

Results of the 10-month long whip review by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) unveiled strict guidelines and penalties to be imposed for those using the whip with excessive frequency from now on, and the Irish Turf Club will now look at the possibility of bringing in similar measures.

The new ruling taken by the BHA now means that jockeys on the Flat in the UK will now only be able to use the whip seven times, while jump jockeys will be restricted to eight.

In addition to that restriction, riders will only be able to hit a horse a maximum of five times either over the last furlong or from the last fence or hurdle.

Those failing to meet the new guidelines will be met with a minimum of a five-day suspension, overwriting the previous minimum penalty which was a caution.

Jockeys can also be expected to lose their share of prize-money and their riding fee in instances and, furthermore, it will also be an offence for any owner or trainer to reimburse a rider from their share of any prize-money.

Mixed views greeted the report, but top jockeys Tony McCoy and Frankie Dettori backed the new rulings, which will come into action on October 10.

Dettori said: "These new rules are easy to understand, which will help all jockeys ride within them.

"I accept these new rules are in the best interest of our great sport and it is right that they should be in place in time for Britain's richest ever raceday, Qipco British Champions Day."

McCoy said: "I for one support the changes. The Professional Jockeys Association has worked closely with the authority of the BHA's review and I hope my colleagues embrace the proposed changes as being in the best interest of the sport."

Kieren Fallon wasn't overly concerned about the changes.

"If you are hitting a horse any more than six or seven times then you are going to struggle anyway," he said.

Hayley Turner, who is currently out injured, said: "The whip rule needed change, for public perception as much as anything else.

"It's simple, there's no grey areas and, as far as I know, we can all count to seven!"