Money talks: new whip rules out the window
Today the Australian Racing Board voted to increase animal cruelty.
They had tried to be progressive by reducing whip use in horse racing. They last week reached a compromise with jockeys and relaxed the new rules. Today they gave in to the big end of town - owners, breeders and trainers - a section of the industry that has now proven they are only concerned about their hip pockets.
The RSPCA is outraged that Australian jockeys now have a mandate to whip their horses unrestrictedly in the end stages of a race.
This afternoon's back peddle was clearly all about money and it makes the RSPCA question whether the ARB and the industry as a whole actually care about the welfare of horses.
Their decision essentially means that a jockey can whip a horse on every stride in the last 100m, without penalty.
But this is not about whips anymore - it's about the industry refusing to put the welfare of horses first.
They couldn't even give the new whip rules six months, not even to show the community that they recognise they need to change and at least reduce their reliance on whips.
Breeders, owners and trainers have exposed their true colours - horses are just a vehicle to make money. This is not a sport.
Their ‘flog it to win it' attitude is archaic and says nothing about the industry's understanding of horse behaviour.
Today's decision is bitterly disappointing and a step backwards for horses.