In my opinion the jockeys are seriously damaging horse racing. I have followed horse racing for over 40 years and the misuse of the whip has always been an issue. When people watch films of Lester Piggott beating the hell out of horse to win the 1977 Derby and then watch Jason Maguire flogging his horse across the line to win last year's Grand National then the sport has a problem.
The administrators have introduced new rules to guide the jockeys but they are ridulously stringent. They have been designed to correct the floggers of horses but the introduction of the new rules has been too soon and too rigid. There should have been a trial period. We the punters have not had an opportunity to decide who uses the whip and who is a proper rider. It does affect the betting.
Horse Racing is on a downward curve. The young are not interested because they cannot understand the study of form. If you cannot read simple English then what the hell how do you follow form? I visit my local bookie and very few are backing horses on form. They are watching computer images and playing machines and many of them are not even English.
If the authorities do not get a grip then the sport will suffer but the jockeys must cooperate. Some are acting like prima donnas. Much was made of the gesture by Richard Hughes to dramatically renounce his riding licence in protest of a ban but nobody has explained why he is still riding?
In this modern politically correct world a jockey cannot beat a horse unnecessarily but the punishment must fit the crime. These new rules should have been tried and tested and everyone educated as to what was acceptable and what was not. Most of us are still in the dark and if I lose interest then so will many others.