Abby Rugg

Name: Abby Rugg
Qualification: Gold Standard NCTJ Multi-Media Journalism Diploma. (Including 100 words-per-minute shorthand)
Employment: Worked at BBC Sport and Deltatre for London 2012.
Future Aim: To work in broadcast/production television.
Blog: Started in November 2011. Published on The Sports Investor and Value Horse Tips. Please comment on a post or follow me on Twitter.

Friday, 20 January 2012


The BHA's new chief executive has announced that whip penalties could be relaxed.

Paul Bittar has claimed that the controversial penalty that jockeys receive as a result of breaking the new rules may be eased.

Bittar took up the post on Wednesday (January 18) but insisted that immediate changes were unlikely, yet he discussed how the new levels of punishment were inaccurate as they don't fit the crime.

Jockeys, trainers and even punters have reacted badly to the severe penalties that are given - the row started as a result of the 2011 Grand National where Jason Maguire was heavily criticised for excessive use of the whip on Ballabriggs.

The debate has recently been reignited as a result of Will Kennedy's suspension following his win in the Lanzarote Hurdle.

He received a seven-day ban and even had to forfeit his prize money.

During that weekend, over 100-day suspensions were handed out, resulting in negative reactions from the racing world.

Come on Paul, I know you can see the severity of the punishment. It's unfair on everyone: jockeys, trainers and owners. Listen to what the professionals want and change the rules to what they were previously. It needs to be done.


  • Jockeys can use the whip seven times in Flat races and eight times in National Hunt
  • Jockeys exceeding the limit by one strike will be suspended             
  • Exceeding the limit by more than one strike will mean the jockey forfeits a share of prize money 

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