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Angry jockeys want fair crack of whip

The Professional Jockeys Association in Britain yesterday released a fiery statement urging the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to amend the new whip rules.

In a statement, former jockey and current head of the PJA, Kevin Darley, revealed that although Frankie Dettori and Tony McCoy had initially supported the new rules "in the best interests of the sport," the high-profile pair had not been given enough time to consider their full implications.

Darley said: "There is now a process of proper consultation and discussion involving jockeys which should have happened before the original announcement by the British Horseracing Authority last month.

"Had we been properly consulted over some of the important details that relate directly to jockeys, prior to the announcement, we feel that we would not be in the position we are today."

Darley added Dettori and McCoy, who were both quoted in last month's BHA statement, had been contacted directly by the authority to show their support, but would not have agreed to the quotes which were subsequently used had they and the PJA been given enough time to consider the full meaning of the new rules and penalties.

McCoy confirmed this, stating: "Before these whip rules came out Frankie was called on the Sunday night and was told what was happening.

"He was told that it was in the best interests of everyone if he agreed and put his name to it and said he was happy to support the proposals.

"A few minutes later I got the same phone call.

"What we weren't aware of was the penalties that they carried."

Yesterday, Ryan Moore suggested that he would be in favour of a return to the old rules -- but with stiffer penalties.

The three-time champion jockey, who remains a stable jockey to Michael Stoute, despite rumours linking him to a move to Ireland as first jockey to Aidan O'Brien, said: "In my view, these new whip rules won't work.

"Everyone came out and said they were good for the sport without really thinking what they meant, then everything got out of control.

"It's ruining the sport and now Kevin (Darley) has been forced to find a compromise.

"No one wants to see horses abused and if a young lad hits a horse unnecessarily the senior guys will soon pull him aside and be sure to set him straight.

"We all love horses and would never abuse them."