First stage of British horseracing’s whip consultation closes
- Initial phase of consultation – an online questionnaire – closed at midnight on Monday 6 September after running for 10 weeks
- Focus groups with volunteers remain ongoing, with detailed discussion sessions with relevant industry individuals and groups to follow
- All elements of the consultation to then be considered by the Whip Consultation Steering Group, which contains representation and expertise from across the racing industry and wider sectors
Over 2,000 responses have been received from industry participants, stakeholders, followers and members of the general public. These submissions will now be assessed, with the aid of an expert independent data analyst.
As part of the consultation process, respondents were offered the opportunity to volunteer to take part in focus groups. Several such sessions have already been held, with more planned through September. Moreover, detailed discussions are also being organised with relevant industry individuals and organisations to take place in the coming weeks.
Following the conclusion of the full consultation process, the data, views and suggestions from all parts of the consultation will be considered by the Whip Consultation Steering Group, which contains representation and expertise from across the racing industry and wider sectors including politics, horse welfare and the media. Recommendations will then proposed by the Steering Group in conjunction with the BHA Project group.
Any resulting recommendations will then be taken out to the racing industry once again for further discussion, prior to undergoing formal consideration by the BHA Board, which is currently planned to take place in 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. There would then follow an extensive bedding in and training period for any changes ahead of their implementation.
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.”