Whip Consultation project update

27 Jan 2022 BHA Features Integrity

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today provided an update regarding the progress of the project to consult on, and review, the use of the whip in British horseracing.The initial consultation period ran from July to September, followed by a period of focus groups and detailed discussions with relevant bodies which ran into the autumn.The Whip Consultation Steering Group – the body which was formed to assess the responses to the consultation and propose any recommendations that may go before the BHA Board – are currently in the process of assessment and discussion around possible recommendations based on this consultation process.The Steering Group contains representation and expertise from across the racing industry and wider sectors including politics, horse welfare and the media.This stage of the process was scheduled to be concluded in winter, which still remains the objective. However, logistical issues caused by Covid and the impact on the schedules of this wide range of individuals mean that it is likely to be the closing stages of winter by the time this group forms its final recommendations.Following the formation of these recommendations, they will then be taken out to be discussed with a selection of relevant individuals and bodies, before being finalised and presented to the BHA Board.In order for these processes to be allocated the appropriate time – over what is traditionally one of racing’s busiest periods in the Spring – the proposals will now be scheduled to be considered by the BHA Board in April, rather than in February as was initially, provisionally, proposed.Following Board consideration there will be a period during which any adjustments proposed by the Board can be considered, and the report finalised. Should there be no issues which cause the project to be delayed this would then allow the full report and recommendations to be published in May.There would then be a significant period to allow for training, education and bedding in before any new rules came into effect, which it is anticipated would be in the Autumn.

Indicative timeline

Stage Indicative timing
Online questionnaire Completed
Focus groups and detailed discussions Completed
Data assessment Completed
Recommendations proposed February
Further industry discussions February/March
BHA Board April
Report and findings published May
Industry communication and training Summer/Autumn
Implementation Late Autumn

As part of the consultation launch three explanatory videos were published:

An FAQs document which was published alongside the launch of the consultation can be found here: Whip Consultation Launch Q&A.pdf

For more information about the whip used in British racing visit this page: British Horseracing Authority | The whip in British horseracing

More information about the Whip Consultation Steering Group and the  BHA Project team responsible for running the consultation process can be found  here: First stage of British horseracing’s whip consultation closes – The British Horseracing Authority.