A step on The Long And Winding Road

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  • #1448557
    Gingertipster
    Gingertipster
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    How many non triers are there in Group races or big meetings ie Royal Ascot Ginge..?
    I think these tend to fall into the category of win at all costs and for me should be the main focus of any rule change, I wouldn’t be worried about low class races as the big races are the ones that are on the Tv with the wider audience.

    I agreee, Nathan, As I said:
    …I’ve (partly) changed my mind. If a horse wins a race purely because it has (in the stewards opinion) broken the rules (even if that rules breach is marginal) then demote. If the marginal breakage has not been the difference then the result stands. However, for VALUABLE RACES ONLY If a jockey breaks the rules by a significant margin, then the horse should be automatically disqualified. ie Connections don’t deliberately lose big handicaps and Group 1’s. ie Hayley would be disqualified.

    ie In ALL races, if the whip abuse makes the difference between winning and losing then the horse is demoted in the case of marginal and disqualified in the case of significant abuse…

    But because the risk of increasing numbers of non-triers is so great in LOWER GRADES, I do think it’s necessary for lower grades to have a rule so that if the horse would’ve won without whip abuse, it is allowed to keep the race in marginal AND (unfortunately) significant cases too. That said – as you rightly point out – whip abuse rarely happens in lower grades, so it is not a problem in lower grades anyway.

    …As you rightly ask “How many non triers are there in Group races or big meetings ie Royal Ascot”..?
    Answer, none*.
    So it is possible to have a rule for VALUABLE RACES ONLY.
    When a marginal breakage of rules is the difference between winning and losing, the horse is demoted. Still think it is unfair to demote/disqualify a horse who clearly would’ve won without marginal breakage of rules. ie If marginal the rightful winner should win.
    However, In valuable races there is next to no chance of non-triers. so it is possible to disqualify ANY horse that has broken the rules by a significant margin, whether it wins by a nose or 10 lengths. Win at all cost rides do not deserve to win.

    NB * Non-triers are always possible in big handicaps; by losing one big handicap so as to bring the handicap down and having a bigger chance in another big handicap. However, that can only be done in the conventional way, by “stopping” a horse. ie Thrashing the horse to be disqualified would likely get a higher handicap mark, so doesn’t work in this instance.

    value is everything
    #1448558
    Tonge
    Tonge
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    • Total Posts 1000

    The current whip rules are unfit for purpose. In my opinion, the reason for this is because stewards in the past have proved that they are either incapable or unwilling to use a common sense approach to punishing misuse. Even now, we get instances where jockeys get greater bans for striking an idling horse an extra once or twice than those who are clearly seen thrashing an exhausted and beaten animal. The “number of strikes” rule is designed to take discretion out of the equation. Horse-racing isn’t an exact science though, so you have to look at the reasons why this was considered necessary

    #1448560
    cormack15
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8760

    Drone/LS – in response to your ‘elephant in the room’ posts

    How many foals are put-down due to inbreeding-induced malformations? I don’t think that information is available is it? I personally have no idea and therefore don’t know if it is a significant issue. Should we know? The breeding industry certainly should but I’ve no idea if they do.

    How many raced 2yos are never seen again on the racecourse as 3yos and what happens to the ‘disappeared’? I think everyone accepts that a variety of things happen to ex-racehorses. Some are re-homed or retrained. Some go to stud to breed. Some are sent for slaughter. What is the split? I don’t know and racing doesn’t know. Although there have been some attempts at gathering data the timeline for racehorses after they leave racing is not well-documented.

    How many racehorses are adequately rehomed on retirement and what happens to those who are not? Same answer as your second question.

    Is it ethical to race horses and then slaughter some of them after their careers are over and their utility has come to an end? That is for the individual to decide.

    Speaking personally I think we owe it to racehorses to care for their welfare but there is a reality to be faced that if the sport is to continue at its current level (or anywhere near it) the number of racehorses required outstrips any demand for them post-career. A stark reality.

    I eat meat. I know that the enjoyment I get from meat eating (which, like racing, is not essential to living) contributes to the stupendously large number of 1.1 billion land animals (doesn’t count fish) that are slaughtered for food each year. But I still eat meat. Because my ethical stance is that so long as the animals are slaughtered humanely (which I know isn’t always the case but should be worked towards) then I think the ‘cost’ is an acceptable one in light of the ‘benefit’ it brings. I was brought up spending large amounts of time on my grandparents farm, a mixed arable farm. Maybe that frames my thinking.

    Racing isn’t food. It is entertainment. But the numbers involved are much lower (does the number actually affect the philosophical argument?). My view is that we should do what we can to look after the horse while racing, and after. Where a decision to end a horse’s life, after its utility has been exhausted and there are no other options available, then that should be done humanely. Should we work towards improving that? of course.
    And you are right, we should know the answers to the questions you ask, it is wrong that we don’t. But I don’t think we should end the sport of racing because the lives of some horses are ended prematurely. I think the benefit (to humans AND horses) outweighs the cost, but we should work to reduce the ‘costs’. That is my moral, ethical judgement. Dave Yates said recently on Nick Luck’s show that the question that should be asked is – ‘Is a racehorse’s life worth living’ (where racehorse is a term to encompass the breed generally) – I think it is.

    So, in light of the above, does my call for a whip ban render me a hypocrite. I don’t think it does because I think use of the whip is one of the ‘costs’ that we can and should work to reduce. And I think the simple way to get rid of that ‘cost’ is to eliminate its use. I don’t think it would reduce the benefits (the entertainment) but, although I don’t agree with them, I respect the views of those who think it would.

    #1448566
    Gingertipster
    Gingertipster
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    This is an emotive subject. Racing’s Brexit.
    Sorry David, I have respect for your racing knowledge and a lot of your views – even the ones I don’t agree with you on. But for someone that loves National Hunt racing to call for a whip ban on wefare grounds… imo “hypocrite” is perhaps too kind. A word beginning with S and ending in D is perhaps nearer the mark.

    Designed with welfare in mind, the racing whip is a flimsy encourager, more like a feather and used properly does not hurt the racehorse.

    Where as a fence is designed to trip some horses up, can really hurt, can injure, can break bones and can sometimes kill.

    Once the Racing whip goes due to welfare issues; what is the justification in keeping jump racing?

    value is everything
    #1448577

    Frenchy15
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    I’m somewhat with Matt Chapman here to be honest. You strike a horse 7 times(or whatever it is) and you win it’s fine, you’re a hero. You strike it 8 and it’s wrong and you’re a villain. That’s absurd. The question here is, does hitting the horse with a whip cause it pain? Is there an accepted view on this or is it still open to debate? My understanding was that it doesn’t cause pain, it’s the equivalent of a light slap on the wrist or something?

    I personally think Charlie Fellows has been a bit irresponsible in this and caused a huge stir when actually our welfare rules are way better than say America’s or Australia. I actually got turned off the racing watching the breeders cup last year as the American horses were getting thrashed all the way to line.

    This is in my eyes frankly b*llsh*t. The general hypocrisy is insane. Banning the whip is ok but making horses run the grand national, that’s fine? That’s a big joke.

    #1448706

    Marginal Value
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    Since we seem to really like talking about the intricacies of whip use, I will add a bit more.

    “Some horses need the whip to show their best. Horses that need the whip will not be able to show their best in whipless racing.”

    These statements are true, but only indicate a deficiency in some horses, when compared with others. They cannot produce enough adrenaline/epinephrine without external assistance. Just as some cannot produce enough adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for high-performance energy production, or have inadequate lung surface area to oxygenate the blood quickly enough, etc.

    The statements also don’t work on a logically-persuasive level if you substitute “Spurs”, “Buzzer”, “HF Sound Generator”, “Lasix”.

    If an experienced trainer cannot train competitiveness into a horse, and a jockey’s hands, heels, body and voice cannot extract that competitiveness from the horse, then the horse is not a competitive horse.

    Just because somebody 250 years ago thought it would be a good idea to turn a correctional implement in agriculture and transport, into an encouragement implement in horse racing, does not mean that it is a great idea today. Does anyone think that if we did not already have the whip that there would be a resounding “Yes” if somebody suggested that the BHA should introduce it to encourage reluctant horses to run faster?

    Times change, and what is acceptable in life and in sport changes too; no more smoking in enclosed public spaces, no more forearm tackles in rugby, compulsion to wear seatbelts in a car, no more fox hunting with dogs, no more football tackles from behind, no more sending children up chimneys even if they are a perfect fit for the job. Ninety percent of doctors were against the creation of the NHS (and they should know – right?) and almost fifty percent of MPs. Nobody in any potential public campaign about the whip will be thinking the experts’ (jockeys, trainers, BHA staff, punters, bookies, TRF members, etc.) opinion is any more valuable than their own.

    It is OK for the clique of horse racing people to decide the weight for age scale; it’s a wholely internal thing. In the long term, racing authorities will not allow whips, or they will be coerced by MPs being lobbied by their constituents; the whip is a public thing. We have known for well over half a century that where humans are involved, and it is not an engineering/scientific question (will this bridge collapse?), then we make decisions and form opinions on what we feel about a situation; that is, how we perceive the situation. The questions: Does the whip make a horse run faster? Does the whip hurt the horse? Is the whip cruel? Is the whip soft enough? are all great fun to debate but are all really irrelevant. They do not matter. Nobody has an algorithm on paper or in their head, or has the data, that calculates a final number that indicates whip=good or whip=bad; because it is not question that is susceptible to numerical calculation. It therefore becomes a matter of human perception and opinion. Right or wrong, that is what humans do. What matters is how many people who watch horse racing, and see a human being hitting an animal with a stick, say, “I think that is wrong!” The public will decide, and from the very low key rebuttal by other trainers to Charlie Fellowes over whip disqualifications, it seems the long and winding road might be shorter than many think.

    As for any hypocrisy; human jockey hitting a horse with a stick has a downside of 100% horse; human jockey jumping a fence on the back of a horse has a downside of 50% each. The first is perceived as abusing a dominant position, and therefore “wrong”. The second is perceived as a shared risk, and therefore “sporting”. In the real world, perception is everything. Plus, horses cannot refuse the whip, but they can refuse to jump, even though they often like to jump fences when they have already disposed of their jockey.

    #1448728

    Frenchy15
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    That’s a really intelligent and well written post MV. It is very difficult to argue against it when written like that and your view seems very plausible. I do think though that when push comes to shove and a decision needs to be made there will be a lot of pushback from the jockeys surely, if for nothing else other than they can need the whip for safety reasons, but most importantly whilst life has changed and is changing so does the constant power of money. I do think there is a fair arguement to say it would kill racing as we know it(mentioned in this thread) and thus the power of the bookmakers might be enough to stop it happening.

    One thing I didn’t like at all was the way Hayley Turner arrogantly dismissed herself of much blame and instead suggested it was the authorities fault for not dishing out longer bans. She came across to me a little bit like she couldn’t give a sh*t basically and that doesn’t help the situation at all.

    #1448751
    steeplechasing
    steeplechasing
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    “Virgin Holidays has announced it will stop offering and promoting excursions to attractions and experiences featuring captive whales and dolphins.”

    Today’s news on animal welfare above.

    Come 2025 at latest, the whip will be gone as an ‘encourager’. Sponsors will flee from ‘whipped’ racing, as will the upcoming generation. In his Telegraph column Charlie Brooks followed up Fellowes’ piece with a similar plea for a whip ban. It turns out he is involved with this Championship Racing project where the main sponsor they are courting says he will not get involved unless races are whipless.

    The millennials, Generation X, whatever they’re called, or rather their self-appointed spokespeople, will not put up with horses being whipped. They won’t care about the turnover of foals, non racetrack injuries, EIPH, after-racing care etc, because out of sight will be out of mind. Nor will they care to be educated by the establishment about padded whips, idling horses, plans for more drastic penalties for offenders.

    Perception is all now.

    Facts do not matter when emotions are high. Check Trump. Check Boris. Check the FOBT campaign.

    The whip is on its way out as an ‘encourager’. Nothing we say on this forum or elsewhere will change that.

    Suck it up, as the Yanks say.

    Never argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience, then onlookers might not be able to tell the difference. https://lazybet.com/

    #1448756

    Frenchy15
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    Is your post for real? Are you seriously comparing captive animals to the use of the whip?!

    It is purely speculative to suggest that sponsors in the next 5-10 years will desert the sport unless the whip is banned.

    millennials have a certain voice in society but they are not going to change the face of the world.

    Comparing captive animals to the use of the whip is just stupid sorry

    #1448757

    Frenchy15
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    • Total Posts 275

    Oh and the FOBT campaign is mostly about stopping hopelessly addicted people ruining their lives even more. That’s a good change surely??!

    #1448766
    steeplechasing
    steeplechasing
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    @frenchy

    Your interpretation of my post is a major reason whip supporters don’t get what people like me are saying.

    It’s nothing to do with comparing captive animals or FOBTs with racing. It is everything to do with how the public now reacts using emotions rather than logic. That’s what elected Trump. That’s what will elect Johnson. That is what ended FOBTs. That is what made Virgin decide to withdraw support from Seaworld.

    A reaction to the emotions of the public.

    And that is what will see the end of the whip – emotional reaction stoked by a few campaigners, and, almost certainly, locked onto by a politician sniffing out a way to make his or her name.

    There are some highly experienced oddsmakers on here. I’d love to see their price on the whip still being used for ‘encouragement’ on January 1st 2025

    Never argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience, then onlookers might not be able to tell the difference. https://lazybet.com/

    #1448768
    Cav
    Cav
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    Based on employment numbers, wage growth, stock market performance under Trump etc., there are probably many Americans who conclude that their decision to vote for the man was entirely reasonable, based on good judgement and therefore logical.

    And do logic and emotion really exist exclusive of each other, Joe? I dont think so myself.

    #1448769

    Frenchy15
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    Okay so I get your point more now. To be honest I’m not even sure there are that many people talking about it or care about it are there? By all means reduce the number of times jockeys are allowed to use it but if by banning, it kills racing as we know it, I just can’t see how it would ever happen despite the point you are making. There is no end point to this except banning racing altogether and letting horses just walk around fields doing what they want. That’s not going to happen either so a line will be drawn somewhere that appeases most people I believe.

    #1448773
    steeplechasing
    steeplechasing
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    Paul, those USA voters will almost certainly come to the conclusion you suggest to justify their choice of such an individual, and on the face of it that’s the strongest of foundations for Trump to build his 2020 campaign on. So why is he instead appealing to the tribalism and prejudices of his base? Trump knows what works.

    And I wouldn’t argue about the link between logic and emotion. The question is which is the stronger? Plato talked of the chariot of the soul drawn by two horses, passion and reason. No prizes for guessing which was the easiest to control.

    Never argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience, then onlookers might not be able to tell the difference. https://lazybet.com/

    #1448774
    Nathan Hughes
    Nathan Hughes
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    I wouldn’t like to price that up Joe
    but there is one certainty
    5 years or less after the whip ban the fences will also be gone NAP

    Don't Eat The Pie and Don't Buy The S*n
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