The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has disclosed that it has received over 2,000 responses to its online questionnaire on horse whip practices.
The update follows the closure of the initial phase of UK racing’s review of the use of foam-padded whips during races and the improvement of equine welfare.
Feedback submitted by industry stakeholders including riders, breeders, owners and the general public will be evaluated by the BHA with the aid of an independent data analyst.
Developments of the consultation will be overseen and considered by the Whip Consultation Steering Group – a committee established to represent the widest expertise on the whip debate from the racing industry to other sectors including politics, horse welfare and the media.
The Steering Group will review all recommendations put forward by the consultation, working with The BHA’s project groups.
Brant Dunshea, Chief Regulatory Officer for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), said: “We’re extremely grateful to everyone who has taken the time to submit their views as part of this open consultation.
“The views submitted through this process will now be assessed, and will play their part in shaping any proposals which are made by the Whip Consultation Steering Group as part of an open and transparent process.”
The BHA will host a series of focus groups throughout September, in which members will be able to hold detailed discussion sessions with relevant industry stakeholders.
Providing an updated timetable, the BHA outlined that it would seek to have a formal decision on whip practices by early 2022.
“Once the BHA Board has made final approvals of any recommendations, a report will be published alongside summaries of the consultation data and responses,” the organisation disclosed.
“There would then follow an extensive bedding in and training period for any changes ahead of their implementation.”