Animal Aid

Dominatrix Derby - Activists invite course officials for a whipping

Posted 3 June 2005

As part of Animal Aid's call for a ban on the use of the whip, PVC-clad dominatrixes will be surprising race-goers on ladies' day at the Vodafone Derby Festival. The dominatrixes will invite chief course officials to offer their own rumps for a whipping to see how they like it.

Animal Aid has produced a meticulously researched report, A Hiding to Nothing, which shows that not only is whipping cruel, but also that horses who are whipped perform less well. In response, the Jockey Club acknowledged that 'more races are lost rather than won through use of the whip.' In light of this, the national campaign group is baffled as to why the whip has not been banned.

Says André Menache, Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS), Scientific Consultant to Animal Aid:

"The use of the whip is of major animal welfare concern. In addition to being an instrument of pain, it also distracts the horses' attention, sometimes with tragic consequences, as documented by Animal Aid's video footage."

There is an evocative account of whip use given by the owner of a young filly in a letter to Racing Post. Wrote Jasmine Chesters:

"When she came out for her first race this year, the only words I can use are that she was thrashed. Not by other horses, but by her jockey. She was hit at least 12 times inside the last furlong and a half and finished third. Her rider was suspended for two days but the harm he did to my horse was incalculable. She has never run the same since. She breaks well but on reaching about the four-furlong pole, when she is nearly always in the first four or five, as soon as she is smacked to push her on, she drops herself out. Her emotions must be in turmoil. She must be expecting to be thrashed again. We have nursed her all season but to no avail. Now I have to make the decision as to what to do with her."

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