Monmouth Park vs Jockeys Over Whip Rule

Monmouth Park seems ready to come down hard on jockeys.

Opinion from one trainer/ex-jockey;

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Well this is interesting. Its 5:30 in the afternoon, and Monmouth has only carded 6 races for opening day. None of the big name jocks are named. Good for them. The Jersey Derby even has some horses entered with no riders. Im glad the jocks have stuck together on this. Its a serious issue.


The UK, a whip may be used with the hand off the rein no more than 7 times in a flat race (8 in jump racing) and with specific conditions. For example, if the horse doesn’t respond after a reasonable time, then the whip can not be used again. In effect, that means the whip is only used in the final stages.

Apprentice jockeys are taught how to use the whip. The whips are of a cushioned design.

Jockeys accept and abide by the whip rule because they are fined or suspended if found in breach - but in reality everyone accepts it because they understand that racing needs support from the general public to thrive.


I hope Monmouth won’t get as ugly about this as they are threatening to be.

The Monmouth rule is banning the use of the whip period except for “safety reasons”. It is the most radical whip rule in the U.S.

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I don’t follow racing, but this is just…I don’t understand why it’s an issue? I get that the whips/crops are used on the horses for asking more speed, but what safety issue is there in NOT carrying a crop? You can’t smack another horse that’s doing what? pushing your horse?
I really don’t understand the jockey viewpoint on this, can you enlighten me?

I’m not a jockey…

I believe the whip as a safety aid is comparable to its use in other horse sports, which is to get the horse to pay attention to the rider. It is very important to be able to do that when the horse is galloping at speed.

The use of the whip to encourage the horse to run is a different matter. I wish that our racing industry wasn’t so fragmented. Different tracks with different rules…

Ok, I certainly get the paying attention part, I have found with my OTTB, that simply waving my arm as though I am carrying a whip has gotten his attention toot sweet.

But I also understand that some horses wear blinkers and others may require a more tactile reminder of their jobs.

Thanks for the clarification I agree, tracks having a unified set of rules would help a lot!

Here is an article (written last Sunday before the threatened punishments were published) that includes comments by jockeys:

Not a jockey but I believe in some cases the whip may be used by the jockey to prevent the horse being ridden from drifting into the path of another horse? At best preventing interference that could potentially lead to disqualification, and at worst preventing a potentially deadly crash.

Obviously whips are used more frequently as an aid than they would be for my example above, but I can see the logic in thinking that an outright whip ban could present a safety issue?

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There are 3 “unknown” jockeys listed for the Jersey stakes. Guess they didn’t give in.

Joe Bravo is riding at Penn National on Friday and Delaware Park on Saturday.

I feel bad for the trainers there. Owners will be thinking twice before sending horses there.

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It is used much like your legs would be.
It helps keep a horse from drifting out/lugging in, which can be dangerous.
Some horses need a tap to help swap leads.

IMO the kicker with this new rule, is that even “fanning” will get the jock in trouble. Which it total BS.


Riding “short” does give up quite a bit of control that would usually be had if the rider had a longer stirrup.
I have had horses (not race horses) that I would not hack without a crop. I can only imagine what they would have been like at a full gallop, in company, while being ridden with a race short stirrup (not that I have ever had the chops to do that.) No way would I feel safe without a stick.

These are professional riders who endanger themselves every day. They should be listened to.


It looks like there is a provision in the rule for using the whip when needed for safety? I’m really not getting the objection, it looks like what is banned is use of the whip for more speed, which frankly is pretty distasteful to the average spectator. I get why the industry would resist changes to the status quo, but the safety argument seems a bit thin.

Who exactly gets to decide what is use of the whip for safety & what isn’t?
Unless it’s blatant misuse, which there are already rules in place to cover that, how can a bystander tell?

Sorry, it’s a total BS rule made to appease the rabid AR/peta freaks. This is a slippery hill to get started down.


I believe the issue is that the jockey can anticipate what their horse is about to do and thus correct it. The observers can’t and can only see the need for correction after the horse has endangered the other participant’s safety, which is too late.

Most everyone who has experience in riding a horse understands this. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.


Doesn’t sound like that happened in Norway. And they couldn’t even carry a whip.

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