Whip rules prevent riding to ‘best ability’

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Equine insurance policyholders might be interested to learn that champion jockey Tony McCoy believes the controversial new whip rules have forced him to change his style of riding.

The current restrictions sees jockeys banned for five days if they are found to have infringed the rules, while if they are found guilty for the same offence after the ban the suspension will be doubled.

McCoy told BBC Sport riding should be about competitive sport rather than having to think about counting how many times the horse has been struck. He said the five-day bans being levied are particularly harsh on young riders who barely make a living and are affected by not being paid for five days at a time.

"Jockeys want to ride and test themselves, but you can't really test yourself to the limit anymore – it's too dangerous," he commented.

Last week, champion jockey Ruby Walsh had his appeal against a five-day ban upheld by the British Racing Authority, which led to the rider threatening to limit his appearances in this country.

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