The Jockeys’ Guild, which represents riding professionals throughout North American thoroughbred horse racing, has recommended reasonable changes to rules governing the use of a riding crop.
Unnecessarily restricting a jockey’s use of the riding crop could serve to diminish interest in racing on the part of the wagering public while also compromising the safety of the jockey, as well as that of other horses and jockeys in the race.
A skilled jockey uses the riding crop not only to urge the horse on through the race but also to command the horse’s focus and attention – thereby mitigating the potential for injury – particularly in the later stages of the race.
Existing riding crop rules have proven effective in protecting horses during the race and Illinois horsemen believe that any changes to these rules should be thoughtful and conservative. The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association is pleased to endorse the Jockeys’ Guild recommendation.