BHA announces further changes to whip rules

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Another change has been made to the whip rules by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) that is sure to have people even further confused with the situation that has seen a number of changes since October.

The guidelines have caused great controversy among equine insurance customers as many jockeys felt the penalties didn't fit the crime and they even threatened strike action at one point.

These latest amendments will be in place in time for next month's Cheltenham Festival and will see the relaxation of restrictions on the amount of times a whip can be used in each race.

New chief executive of the BHA Paul Bittar said that while the body is still focused on ensuring that horse welfare is of paramount importance, it realised that a rule based on a fixed number of whip strokes was fundamentally flawed.

Chief executive of the Professional Jockeys' Association Paul Struthers added: "This change recognises that a 'grey' issue cannot be proportionately and fairly regulated by a 'black and white' rule, and that jockeys are skilled horsemen who care passionately about horses."

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