Mixedwave has become the first winner in Britain to be disqualified under the current whip rules after his rider Alex Edwards used his whip 16 times at Market Rasen last week – nine above the permitted level.
Regulations concerning the use of the whip underwent major changes earlier this year, with the numbers of strikes allowed in flat and jumps races reduced to six and seven respectively.
A tougher penalty structure for those in breach was also introduced, including doubled suspensions for major races and disqualification in the most serious of cases.
The Pam Sly-trained Mixedwave was a 4/1 shot for Market Rasen’s Pertemps Network Handicap Chase on Thursday – and after making virtually all the running, clung on by a short-head from Post Chaise.
However, following the latest meeting of the Whip Review Committee, Edwards was found to have used his whip nine times above the permitted level of seven and “without giving his mount time to respond from approaching the third-last flight.”
Taking into account Edwards had used his whip more than four times above the permitted level, Mixedwave was disqualified, while Edwards will serve a 24-day suspension (December 12th-23rd and December 26th-January 6th), with one of these days to be spent receiving specialised coaching.
It is the first such disqualification since the rules were introduced, with 7,903 races staged under the rules as of November 26th, according to the British Horseracing Authority.
A BHA spokesperson said: “Disqualification was introduced as the ultimate deterrent for overuse of the whip and there can be no excuse for exceeding the permitted level by nine uses.
“As well as extensive consultation and communication, jockeys were required to undertake online training modules which clearly set out the new rules prior to riding under them.
“The wide-ranging understanding of what may trigger a disqualification, and the steps taken by jockeys to adapt well to the new rules, is demonstrated by the fact that this is the first time in almost 8,000 races that the rule has been invoked following a winning ride.”