Opinions on whip use in horse racing?
Hey everyone, I'm going to be writing either an argumentative or persuasive essay in english about the use (sometimes over-use) of the whip in horse racing (UK). I'm aware that its only 'bad' if in the hands of the wrong person, of course.
I thought that I would ask people on here what their views on the matter are. So, what do you think?
I agree that it is only "bad" in the hands of the wrong person. I consider it to be more motivational then anything, getting the horse caught up in the energy of the race. No amount of whipping can force a horse to go faster then it's physically capable of or absolutely willing to do. I am not familiar with how harsh the whips being used are, but that would definitely factor in to my opinion.
Here's a thought as well - when I am encouraging my horse to speed up after asking him politely and not getting a response, I use my split reins as a crop. I have not noticed an appreciable difference in the amount of response I get whether I actually strike him with the split reins or if I strike my own thighs.
There are strict rules about whip use both in the US and UK - as you said you are UK based, here are the rules.
Disciplinary: Whip use
Tarpan - thank you for your input :)
AlexS - The rules in the UK had been amended recently and some jockey's objected etc and still use the whip more than allowed so that's what I was basing my essay on. Thank you for the link, it was rather helpful :)
I worked in the racing industry for quite a while, was foreman (or woman) of two barns.....my thoughts and my experience:
During daily trackwork, whips were sometimes carried, not always. Usually during gallop work (which some people like to think is everyday! Not true) a whip is carried, but seldom used. I hardly ever saw a horse come off from trackwork with a welt on it....and if it did have a welt on its butt it was usually because of some dangerous behaviour like rearing at the gap (entrance onto tracks) to get him moving forward or backing up at the gap.....but I would spank my horse too for doing that!
During racedays, again, evidence of welts was very seldom and people forget that sometimes the whip is used like a leg to push a horse over off the rail or from clipping another horse.....jockeys have next to no leg aid. Also, I do believe that there is overuse in some instances, where clearly the horse is just out of the running....quit sticking him. And the jockeys that do this are fined and sometimes suspended for it.
A whip is just like a bit or spurs.....overuse can cause a horse to somewhat become numb or dead to an aid (a whip is an aid - some people don't buy that either) so its in the best interests of every trainer, track worker and jockey to only use the whip when absolutely necessary so the horse stays responsive and fresh to it. It's like riding your horse without spurs for a month then popping them on one day to get a more responsive ride.....no different.
Some racehorses only ever get a taste of the whip in the last 100-300 meters of the course proper on racedays! I have no problem with that.
^^^ What Muppetgirl said.
If the whips that used in the UK are the same padded ones used here in Australia - they do very little harm apart from making a firm whacking sound.
I've never seen a horse with welts from having a whip used on them - either at trackwork or at the races. They are used for motivation and can be used for steering. Also I find in my trackwork if a horse is starting to pull its head down and mess around, one strong tap on the shoulder and you got the horses's mind back on task - which is to go forward.
I dont carry one on every horse but the ones I do carry know when I have it and sometimes I dont need to use it because they know to be good ponies and beheave otherwise they will get a tap.
I hate to single out a single country, but whenever I watch Breeder's Cup races, I can always spot the horses who come over from Ireland in the home stretch because the jockeys are always beating the crap out of them. It really bothers me. In one race a few years ago, I counted 19 times the jockey hit the horse who was already fading at the top of the stretch. In the US, that would have never been tolerated. I can only hope Ireland uses the above mentioned padded whips.
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