Timing Of Whip Rule Changes All Wrong
It was probably inevitable that a change in the whip rule was going to happen at some stage in Ireland.
I just feel that putting a number on it – the officials have to act now if a rider goes above the permitted level – is making things difficult for themselves.
The main problem I have with it is the timing of the new sanction.
We’re seven-eighths of the way through the National Hunt season and the Flat season started yesterday.
We’re coming up to some big festivals now, some high-profile meetings, and to have a major change in the whip rules just before them meetings is a bit silly.
If they’d used their heads a little bit more they should have imposed the new rules for the first day of the Flat season and postponed the National Hunt rule until the first day of the new National Hunt season, which is the Bank Holiday Monday in May, and get these festivals out of the way.
You don’t change the rules three-quarters of the way through a match.
The FA wouldn’t change the rules in the Premier League during the season.
It’s not very often you watch a race in Ireland where you think that the jockey’s abused the horse. It’s very, very rarely that I ever see that happening. I can’t think of one, off the top of my head, where I’ve thought, ‘That was a bit over the top.’ There are occasions and riders are punished for it.