High-tech racing whip unveiled

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  • An electronic racing whip, which measures the frequency and strength with which it is used, has been developed

    An electronic whip, which measures how often and how hard jockeys use it during a race, could become a revolutionary new racing aid, according to its two Irish inventors, Kieran O’Farrell and Reg Cregan.

    The invention, known as the Register, was recently featured on the BBC’s TV programme, Tomorrow’s World.

    The whip has sensors in the hitting end which records force and frequency on to a microchip in the handle. The data can then be downloaded on to a computer.

    Kieran O’Farrell said: “We are hoping to have talks with the Jockey Club to discuss the setting up of trials. Britain has the strictest codes on animal welfare so we would hope other countries would follow suit – Ireland, the Arab States, the USA and Australia.”

    Spokesman for the Jockey Club, John Maxse, said: “The new whip has potential as an educational tool for jockeys in training to teach them how to use a whip in line with Jockey Club guidelines.

    “But we believe current measures – such as the use of video replays – are proving successful in controlling whip use on the racetrack.”

    The RSPCA says it believes air cushion and shock absorbing whips cause the minimum of pain to the horse when used properly during a race and within the guidelines of the Jockey Club regulations.

    The Irish inventors of the electronic whip have also developed a version that uses shock-absorbing foam.

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