The latest news on the padded whip issue is:
Racing Australia is undertaking a review acknowledging that the current rule is flawed, with CEO Peter McGauran recently stating that allowing jockeys to use the padded whip eight times nonconsecutively before the 100m “makes sense”
Racing Australia has established a sub-committee, which will be chaired by former chairman of stewards Des Gleeson. The subcommittee members are Peter V’Landys (Racing NSW) Bernard Saundry (RVL) and Robert Pearson (RWWA)
The three will consider the stewards recommendation which is: “eight non-consecutive uses of the padded whip prior to the 100m, then non-consecutive from the 100m to the post”
The sub-committee has asked for submissions from industry groups such as jockeys, trainers, owners and punters.
The AJA will soon lodge its submission to the sub-committee and we expect also to meet with the committee.
The AJA recently asked each state jockeys association to speak with their committee to determine their preferred padded whip rule option.
Unanimously, each state has agreed that the AJA position is:
“Eight non-consecutive uses of the padded whip prior to the 100m, then at the riders discretion from the 100m to the post, ”
Racing Australia have suggested that the Principal Racing Authority in each state work with the jockeys
In a number of states, jockeys have worn the helmets in trials and given feedback.
The idea is that Allan McMillan from Derby helmets personally fit-out every jockey, however the AJA doubts this strategy, as it does not simulate a real experience. That is, when an apprentice begins riding in 2017, Allan McMillan will not be at Hylands or Markeys to fit that apprentice out.
Over the next few weeks, there will be a fit-out of 15-20 jockeys in Sydney. The jockeys will take the helmets away and wear them at their discretion (trails, trackwork, races)
After a month, the jockeys will return the helmets with constructive feedback.
THE NSW GREYHOUND BAN
We should not underestimate the recent decision of the NSW Government to ban Greyhound Racing
The Animal Welfare groups are politically strong and well organised.
The implications are already surfacing with many saying that the whip rule is on the animal welfare radar
The AJA is please to announce that the relationship between LUCRF Super and the National Jockeys Trust has been extended.
The new three year deal has seen a 50% increase in sponsorship
A reminder that all these funds go to the National Jockeys Trust that helps current and former jockeys who are in necessitous circumstances as a result of a serious injury, illness or death.
The only deduction to these funds is the cost of fitting all Australian jockeys with the LUCRF breeches.
The National Jockeys Trust is helping an average of one former or current jockey per week.
The Trustees have agreed to assist 280 jockeys with over $2.9m over the past 12 years.
Many thanks to all those jockeys who have helped spread the word on the National Jockeys Trust, and thanks to all jockeys who wear the LURF breeches.
The breeches are now ordered on an “as need” basis
ALCOHOL – ZERO TOLERENCE
Presently jockeys can ride with an alcohol level of 0.02, however moves are afoot to amend that rule to a zero alcohol reading
The AJA has requested that the breath testing equipment be uniform throughout Australia and be certified, with the correct testing practices in place
We will keep you posted with any developments