Speaking after today’s meeting with representatives from the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA), Jamie Stier, Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), said:
“I would like to thank the representatives from the PJA and NTF for taking the time to come to London for what proved to be a productive meeting. A number of incidents were reviewed and a range of topics covered regarding the whip Rules and accompanying penalty structure.
“Today’s meeting forms an essential part of our ongoing monitoring process within the current review period. It was explained that any further adjustments to the Rules or penalties – should any be implemented – would need to follow due process including approval from the BHA Board where appropriate.
“We identified areas of common ground, recognising the issues raised by the PJA and NTF and we intend to explore these further as part of the ongoing consultation process.
“This includes the need for greater use of discretion by Stewards and also might include developing an incentive for riders who do not breach the Rules over a set period or set number of rides. I would add that we remain committed to adhering to the principles of the Whip Review and the objectives therein, which includes ensuring there are no unintended consequences as a result of implementing the Review.
“As has been publicised recently in the form of statistics, we are seeing very encouraging evidence that some of those objectives are being met, including a 14% decrease in whip offences (as a percentage of rides) and a 57% decrease in ‘technical offences’. The jockeys undoubtedly deserve great credit for the way in which they have adapted their riding styles following the introduction of what were significant changes to the Rules.
“We’re committed to working with the PJA on this issue and look forward to further constructive consultation.”