OpinionRichard Forristal

Pandering to a minority with no interest in racing only ends one way - in oblivion

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Ireland editor
CHELMSFORD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: A jockeys cushioned whip at Chelmsford City Racecourse on February 13, 2020 in Chelmsford, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
The whip is dominating the discourse despite Cheltenham and Aintree being on the horizonCredit: Alan Crowhurst (Getty Images)

Another week, another chapter in the racing authorities' propensity for self-inflicted tribulation. This time, it is the unending whip debacle in Britain that has thrust the sport into the mainstream media for all the wrong reasons.

A total of 20 suspensions for 19 jockeys on the eve of the Cheltenham Festival in one fell swoop, a horse disqualified more than a week after the event. Lunar Discovery's DQ came in a routine bumper at Ayr, belatedly changing the result of the race. Wait until these jockeys are riding in a contest that actually matters at places like Cheltenham and inevitable disqualifications are retrospectively altering major race results. It will be carnage.

What is happening to the sport in a country that played such a fundamental role in making it great is sad. I'm not sure how else to describe it at this stage. It's just sad. Going over and over this is tiresome but the BHA seems hell-bent on making the whip a central issue.

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Published on inRichard Forristal

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