SIR – It is welcome news that Towcester racecourse in Northamptonshire has announced it will ban jockeys from beating horses with the whip, and will disqualify those who do.

Animal Aid’s 2004 report A Hiding To Nothing analysed 161 races and showed how much suffering is caused by the use of the whip. Our latest report Beaten to the Line 2010, reveals that, last year, the British Horseracing Authority’s rules were broken more than 17 times per week.

At the moment, many jockeys repeatedly misuse the whip because, even when they are found guilty of misconduct, they still keep their winnings.

The winning horse in this year’s Grand National, Ballabriggs, was severely beaten in the final stages of the race, which left him so exhausted and dehydrated that he required oxygen.

The jockey, Jason Maguire, has a record of beating horses but has, again, kept his winnings.

Animal Aid is calling on all Britain’s racecourses to end the use of the whip in racing. Contact us on 01732 364546 or visit animalaid. for a free Ban the Whip information pack.

Animal Aid