The British Horseracing Authority has suspended its investigation into the use of whips on horses by jockeys and trainers.
The investigation began as a result of a publication made by the Horse Welfare Board in February where they noted that although the number of misuse of whip has reduced, it still existed at a high rate, prompting an investigation.
The investigation had commenced the same month and was expected to be completed by October, when results and recommendations would be given, along with a penalty for defaulters.
However, the Coronavirus pandemic that has, so far, disrupted plans and calendars around the world, has forced the postponement of the investigation.
The focus of the investigation was on the use of the whip on horses and how much jockeys should use the whip during a race and the kind of punishment to mete out to offenders.
Currently, the use of whip in a race is allowed 7 times in flat races and 8 times in jump races. Any number of whips that exceeded what was set for any race was deemed to be an offence.
According the the BHA, who made the request to the HWB to postpone the investigation, the reason was because it would have involved many senior officials who were integral in making plans for the BHA.
This includes making plans for the welfare of the workers affected by the coronavirus, and also because it would have involved direct meetings which is deemed as high risk in a time like this. They proposed the creation of a new timetable at a time when proper planning could be made.
The HWB approved the request and even supported it. The independent chair of the board, Barry Johnson said it was important that any consultation should be conducted “thoroughly and well, with maximum involvement from people in the sport,” something that could difficult in a time like this. He also said that postponing the investigation would allow the BHA to focus on current issues concerning the horses and people.
Written by: Leon Osamor