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John Whitaker: This can’t be good for the sport’s image *H&H Plus*

At my first show of 2020, a friendly steward pulled me up for carrying the wrong whip. I had absolutely no idea that British Showjumping (BS) had changed the rules on 1 January, deciding to adopt similar rules to racing and making it mandatory to use one of the floppy type of whips.

Somebody kindly lent me a whip; I didn’t think I’d need to use it, but of course my horse decided to be a bit awkward that day and crashed into a fence. I tried to get his attention by giving him a tap with this new whip, which had no effect whatsoever. So I gave him a slightly harder smack and that certainly grabbed his attention because the noise scared the living daylights out of him, me and – judging by the way it echoed round the indoor arena – half the horses in the county, too. I’ve never heard such a loud crack in my life!