BHA ready to toughen penalties for modified whips after horse is marked

The BHA is ready to toughen penalties for the use of modified whips  after jockey Danny Brock was banned for seven days for marking a horse with one at Chelmsford in September.

Brock was fined £140, the standard penalty for using a modified whip, by stewards on the day.

He was then given a seven-day ban by an independent disciplinary panel after his mount Resurrected, trained by Charlie McBride, was found to have been marked by the whip, which had two elastic bands around its end.

Brock, 27 and riding his eighth winner of the year that day, had left the course before being told about his mount having "minor weals" on her skin on a second check by the officiating vet.

A BHA spokesman said:"The BHA feels that the standard penalties for an offence of this nature do not seem sufficient and will address this specifically when considering the Horse Welfare Board’s broader research and recommendations regarding the whip.

"The use of modified whips is not something that can be tolerated. The rules of racing are clear on this and the welfare of our participants is our primary concern.

"Whether that penalty framework remains appropriate is another matter and one that we have decided to take a look at."

The BHA said Brock's case was almost unique with "no other cases in years" and that the clerk of the scales regularly checks jockeys' whips, although this will now be stepped up.

On the horse welfare front, the BHA revealed only two horses had suffered wealing to their skin from the whip in 2019 and in the previous three years there had only been two other cases in a period that covered 90,000 runners.

Resurrected had been backed into 10-1 from 25-1 on course for the 6f classified stakes on September 19 but the BHA declined to say whether betting patterns were being investigated.

A spokesman said: "The BHA cannot comment on ongoing investigations or speculation surrounding possible investigations."