HRA Announces Whip Ban to Commence in September 2017

All we want to know is, how long until it is the horses riding and the drivers pulling?

We like most horses better than most people, but when it comes to racing, there are certain members of the equine set that are disinclined to run, despite prodigious natural ability to do so.

Yet, beginning next year, Australian harness racing will no longer tolerate the use of whips. Starting in September of 2017, Harness Racing Australia (HRA) has declared the use of whips in training and racing off limits.

The move might be a survival tactic for HRA, as the animal rights activists have been making inroads into the racing codes for some time and have all but extinguished jumps racing. According to the statement issued by HRA, “The decision sets the pace in animal welfare and for the long-term support and sustainability of the industry.”

The move could also be interpreted as an attempt to one-up the thoroughbred code, which has some regulations regarding how and where jockeys can use the crop to encourage their mounts to increased effort.

According to industry sources, the decision to ban whips has been six years in the making. The New Zealand harness racing commission has no plans to follow suit, at least for the present time.

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