NSW Trainers Association lobby to reduce whip allowance and impose tougher bans for Darren Weir-like electric shock device charges


But after South Africa trialled whip-free racing last year and French authorities lowered the amount of times a jockey can use the instrument on a horse to five times per race, the NSWTA wants Racing Australia to scrap its current guise.

Australian jockeys are allowed to use the whip on a horse five times before the 100-metre mark of any flat race. Its use is then unlimited over the final stages of the race under a rule which has stood since 2015.

Loading

But the NSWTA is lobbying for the rule to be tinkered to remove its unrestricted use in the final stages and be limited to between five and seven strikes in total for any race.

It would alleviate concerns about jockeys trying to determine precisely where the whip rule changes in any particular race and allow them to only monitor the amount of times they use it on a horse before the finishing post.

Critics of the current whip rule have also questioned why jockeys can use the tool most in the final stages of a race which attracts the greatest attention from the public.

It’s believed the new proposal will be met with resistance from the jockeys’ union.

A quarter of the jockeys in last year’s Melbourne Cup were sanctioned for breaking the whip rule, including Kerrin McEvoy on winner Cross Counter, Hugh Bowman on runner-up Marmelo and third placegetter Michael Walker on A Prince Of Arran.

Bowman was suspended while McEvoy and Walker were fined.

Privately the NSWTA is arguing it is better to make the move on the whip now rather than have it enforced upon the industry in future years.

The public scrutiny on the racing industry and its animal welfare standards has only intensified in recent years, prompting the trainers’ union to also express concern with the highly-publicised punishment handed down to Weir.

The NSWTA has proposed any trainer charged and found guilty of possessing or using a shock device on a horse spend at least a decade on the sidelines, effectively ending their career.

Australia’s most prolific trainer, Weir was banned for four years after police raids uncovered three devices found in the master bedroom of the home at his former Ballarat training facility.

Many felt the four-year ban handed to Darren Weir was lenient.Credit:AAP

Weir pleaded no contest to the charges and is subject to an ongoing Victoria police investigation.

The Weir revelations left Australian racing with a massive black eye amid accusations it didn’t deal harshly enough with the country’s most dominant trainer by imposing a four-year ban.

His former assistant Jarrod McLean, a trainer in his own right, has had his own case answering a charge for possessing a banned electric shock device adjourned.

The group 1-winning conditioner will face the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board next month.

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading



Rugby

Related posts

Make a comment