There's no denying that whips hurt. As leading sports journalist Patrick Smith puts it, 'Whipping is cruel. It is, by any definition, barbaric.'
In an industry that puts profit before horses
, physical injury is already a high risk for racehorses. Beating them to make them run beyond their physical limit puts them at even greater risk of broken bones, torn muscles, bleeding in the lungs and lameness
. To add insult to injury, a University of Sydney review (commissioned by the RSPCA) found whipping does not improve performance
and that there's no connection between whip use and winning races. In fact, 'On average, [horses] achieved highest speeds when there was no whip use.'
Despite this, the Australian Racing Board still allows horses to be whipped at the jockeys' discretion during the final moments of a race — when horses are most exhausted and are beaten most with the whip. Join us in calling for an end to the cruel use of whips in horse racing.