Two jockeys banned under new whip rules
LONDON, Oct 11 PA – Kieren Fox and Richard Hughes are the first jockeys to fall foul of the new whip guidelines in Britain.
Fox was handed a 15-day ban at Salisbury after hitting Orthodox Lad 11 times, seven times in the final furlong (200m) during his winning ride.
Hughes was given five days after finishing third on Swift Blade, who was adjudged to have been hit six times inside the final furlong during the same race.
The revised sanctions state a Flat jockey can only hit their mount seven times, and just five times inside the final furlong.
Both jockeys will lose their percentage of prize money and will also have to forfeit their riding fee.
“I’ll have to go back to school to learn how to count,” Hughes said.
“I knew exactly what I was doing and I was aware – I hit him down the neck for correction matters, nothing else.
“I rubbed him once before and he was leaning in, so I flicked him one down the neck, purely to keep him straight.
“They said you aren’t allowed to use your stick as correction and I was under the impression you were allowed to do that.”
Head of stewards William Nunneley expressed disappointment at Fox and Hughes having breached the new rules.
“It had to happen some day and I’m afraid the penalties are there and they are severe,” he said.
“We’ve been trying to educate the riders and at the end of the day, they are the people on top and they are the ones who got us where we are, if you like.
“I’m very disappointed we’ve had two breaches and I’m certainly disappointed with Kieren Fox as that’s not just forgetting, that’s way over the top.
“I was rather hoping that they would understand they have got to change the way they use the whip. It’s a behavioural thing that has got to change.”
Frankie Dettori had earlier admitted he was “scared” riding under the new rules.
“That was my first ride and I must say I was very aware and very scared,” Dettori said.
“I spent most of the race worrying and making sure I counted them.
“I think we just need to tweak it (the rules) a bit.
“We have to do something for the sport so we don’t look like we’re cruel to animals, but the whip is a tool of our profession, if used correctly.
“We’ll do our best, but when you’ve been riding one way for 25 years and expect to change overnight, it will take time.
“We’ll have to be very disciplined.”