Horse Racing

Swedish Racing Regulator Bans Whip Use

New whip regulations will take effect in Sweden in April, according to regulator Svensk Galopp.

According to the new rules, the whip may not be used for driving purposes. The new rules mean that the rider may only use the whip to prevent accidents, and are largely in line with the Norwegian rules. The only difference is that in Sweden, riders can carry a whip in all races.

The whip regulations were discussed at the autumn meeting last year and the decision on the new rules was made by Svensk Galopp’s board on Monday. The rule change is made in connection with a new version of SRG (Scandinavian Regulations for Galloping) being published in March.

Previously, jockeys in Sweden had been allowed to hit their horses three times in a race. The whip, however, had not been allowed in jumps racing or for 2-year-old racing.

“The use of the whip in Sweden has been discussed for years,” said Helena Gartner, project manager of the Scandinavian Racing Regulations Committee. “The regulations have changed gradually and the foam-padded sticks were introduced some years ago, but now it is time to ban the use of the whip completely. Whip use in horse racing simply does not belong in 2022.”

The new whip regulations in Sweden:

Whip may be used to ward off a dangerous situation. The whip must not be angled up to the horse’s eyes and ears. With whip blows, blows are equated with the horse’s rein, the rider’s arm and hand. During the run, the rider must ride with both hands on the horse’s mane and neck. From 200 meters before the finish line, in the obstacle course after the last obstacle before the finish line has been passed, the rider may not change the whip from one hand to the other unless such a situation as stated in the first sentence exists. Riders may only use a whip determined by Skandinavisk Galopp, so-called cushion stick (padded whip).

The first paragraph also applies when training a horse. By training a horse is meant the physical and mental preparation of a horse that is to compete and where the purpose of the training is to prepare the horse for competition. The horse is exerted, physically or mentally, in a way that is not only devoted to maintaining or achieving basic physical condition and mobility or basic mental training.


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