Australian Jockeys “blindsided” by Racing Victoria announcement re whip reform


Australian Jockeys “blindsided” by Racing Victoria announcement re whip reform

The Australian Jockeys Association (AJA) has questioned the lack of consultation with its members prior to today’s announcement by Racing Victoria (RV)’s calling for national action on whip reform in Australian racing prior to the end of 2020.

AJA CEO Martin Talty said the timing of today’s release was bewildering.

“In amending any rules Racing Australia seek consultation from all stakeholders before implementation. It is disappointing that Racing Victoria didn’t follow this course,” Talty said.

“Racing Victoria’s decision to launch this to be the lead media piece for our sport over the coming days locally, nationally and internationally, when all media interest should be on the release of the weights for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups tomorrow, is disappointing.”

“On the eve of the weights being released for, perhaps, one of the most interesting Caulfield and Melbourne Cups in recent history, that topic of conversation has been taken away by Racing Victoria’s decision to concentrate on whip reform. Why?”

“Putting the actual topic to one side, what judgment would see today as the optimal day to run with it in the media?”

“Racing has enough issues of national importance needing to be addressed in a cohesive and collaborative manner without PRA’s being at odds with each other like this.”

Talty said the AJA was disappointed to learn RV has not undertaken any form of consultation with the Victorian Jockeys Association prior today’s release.

“This is a topic that needs sensible and informed discussion across all stakeholders, not just jockeys but trainers, owners, breeders and punters.”

“Australia is a key member of the Asian Racing Federation and to compare this initiative with countries such as Britain, Ireland, Germany, France and the US and not to world leaders such as Hong Kong and Japan is grossly inaccurate. The fact is the most successful horse racing jurisdictions in the world are in Hong Kong, Japan and here in Australia.”

Talty confirmed the AJA’s position was that the current rule in Australia was both sensible and appropriate and should be maintained.

“One thing RV has got right is that it remains of the view that padded whips do not constitute a risk to equine welfare”.

He added that if there was an insistence by Australian racing administrators have the debate around a variation to the rule, the AJA was ready and willing to engage.

“Racing Australia has established a Riders Protocols Panel and it had already met and begun the discussion. RV is well aware of that, and I hope today’s announcement will not have derailed that process.”


Media Contact: Martin Talty CEO Australian Jockeys Association 0409 101 012