The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that its online inquiry on horse whipping practises has garnered over 2,000 replies.
The announcement comes after the first phase of UK racing’s examination of the use of foam-padded whips in races and the improvement of equine welfare was completed.
The BHA will assess feedback from industry stakeholders including as riders, breeders, owners, and the general public with the help of an independent data analyst.
The Whip Consultation Steering Group – a committee designed to reflect the broadest experience on the whip discussion from the racing business to other sectors such as politics, horse welfare, and the media – will oversee and review the consultation’s progress.
Assessment of consultation recommendations
Working with The BHA’s project groups, the Steering Group will assess all of the consultation’s recommendations.
The BHA Chief Regulatory Officer, Brant Dunshea, said: “We’re extremely grateful to everyone who has taken the time to submit their views as part of this open consultation.
“The views submitted through this process will now be assessed, and will play their part in shaping any proposals which are made by the Whip Consultation Steering Group as part of an open and transparent process.”
Throughout September, the BHA will conduct a series of focus groups where members will be able to have in-depth discussions with relevant industry stakeholders.
The BHA provided an amended timeline, stating that it hoped to reach a definitive conclusion on whip practises by early 2022.
“Once the BHA Board has made final approvals of any recommendations, a report will be published alongside summaries of the consultation data and responses,” the organisation disclosed.
“There would then follow an extensive bedding in and training period for any changes ahead of their implementation.”