Today new whip rules are coming into play for jockeys after there were a lot of complaints after the Grand National this year. The new rules are that the jockey is allowed eight strokes of the whip jumping or seven whilst on the flat.
The link to the story on the BBC news is below.
BBC news link
They say the reason the whip has not been banned completely is that they need it for safety when coming up to a jump a high speed to make sure the horse doesn't stop. They also need it to keep the horse balanced in the gallop...
I can see why they may need to give them a tap before the jump but they usually use the whip when they are coming to the end of the race, repeatedly hitting the horse that is already exhausted. I also can't see how this would help to balance the horse. They're hardly dressage riders giving them a tickle with the whip on their hindquarters! I think it is the way they are using the whip which is a large problem.
The best part of the new regulations is that they will face longer bans and they may be stripped of their prize money. This is a good idea as hopefully they will get out of the habit of hitting the horses coming up to the finish line if they may lose the winning money anyway! If they are banned they may also get fined. As the racing industry is so money driven I think using fines and taking away prize money is one of the best ways to reduce the amount of whipping.
This is a step in the right direction and we will have to wait and see the effects these new regulations will have.