Richard Hughes hands in jockeys licence in protest of whip rule

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  • Top Flat rider Richard Hughes has handed his jockey’s licence in, as a protest against the new whip rules.

    Hughes has received two bans in four days since the introduction of the rules on Monday (10 October)

    On the first day of the new regime Hughes – who finished third on Swift Blade – was handed a five-day ban for striking the horse six times in the final furlong.

    And last night at Kempton (Thursday 13 October) he was given a 10-day ban for excessive use on More Than Words.

    Under strict new rules the whip must not be used more than seven times in a Flat race – eight in a jumps race and not more than five in the final furlong, or after the last obstacle.

    If they break to rules jockeys receive a ban but also forfeit their riding fee and percentage of prize money.

    Hughes handed in his licence with immediate effect – meaning he will miss tomorrow’s (Saturday 15 October) inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot, the richest days racing in British history.

    He said that he had had just two one-day bans in three years but has now received two in just four days.

    He added that the new rules had “taken away the will to win” and the final furlong rule was “a trap” but that he’d consider returning to riding if the rules were revised.

    Yesterday the British Horseracing Authority said it would consider a submission from the Professional Jockeys Association.

    Paul Roy, chairman of the BHA, said: “We remain clear and confident in the review and its findings, and are encouraged that the PJA is generally supportive of the principles behind the new Rules. However, they have raised certain concerns, particularly in relation to the penalty structure, and we expect to receive further formal written submissions from them shortly.

    “We will therefore reconvene the review group working party and they will begin to consider the PJA’s submission as soon as possible after it is received.”

    Also yesterday (Thursday 13 October), Harry Skelton, son of top showjumper Nick, was the first National Hunt jockey to fall foul of the rules when he picked up at five day ban forhitting El Diego nine times at Wincanton.

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