New Whip Rules Start Wednesday

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (June 30, 2015) -- California is introducing the strictest regulation in the country governing the use of riding crops in horse racing. Enforcement of the new rule begins Wednesday, July 1.

Jockeys will be required to limit their use of the riding crop to three times in succession, and then pause to give the horse a chance to respond before using the crop again.

California racing industry organizations and the Jockeys’ Guild support this latest effort by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) to protect horses. The stewards and representatives of the Guild have been working with California jockeys for nearly one year on adjusting their riding styles. This has involved a review of racing videos and informing jockeys when their actions would have incurred a penalty under the impending rule. Stewards report that jockeys are now in substantial compliance.

Violation of the rule will result only in sanctions to the jockey. No horse will be disqualified as a result.

CHRB Rule 1688 contains other, longstanding restrictions that strictly limit use of the crop to the least sensitive shoulder and hind quarters, while emphasizing its proper use for control and safety purposes.

In 2010 the CHRB amended Rule 1685 to require shorter crops with padded tips.