PAUL BITTAR is to propose new changes to the British Horseracing Authority's (BHA) controversial rules on the use of the whip.
Bittar is the new Chief Executive of the BHA and is to discuss fresh amendments to the rules in a meeting on Tuesday (tomorrow).
This meeting is an attempt to avoid damaging publicity over the controversial issue during next month's Cheltenham Festival.
Large events such as the Festival have already caused damage to the sport - last year's Grand National winner Jason Maguire re-sparked the debate over the rules and caused a media frenzy over the matter.
Bittar's suggestions are likely to aim on a reduction to the current unfair penalties for minor offences rather than any significant changes to the rules themselves.
However, there may also be scope for stewards to apply more judgement when deciding whether a jockey is in breach.
If agreed to, any changes to the rules will have little time to "bed in" before the Festival, but when set against the potential of high-profile whip bans at the Festival, Bittar has decided that this is a risk worth taking.
Finally, Paul Bittar has come to our rescue! It's about time that amendments should be made. Like I have said before, the new rules weren't at all fair for jockeys. They're ridiculous and giving horseracing a bad image. Bittar is right by suggesting to change the rules before the Festival, but is it a case of too little too late?
My answer, no. Since the rules were changed in October, Bittar has reacted well to the situation. He's realised just how harsh these rules are and how they're producing an unhealthy view into the sport.