Animal Aid

Playboy model Victoria Eisermann offers Royal Ascot punters a whipping

Posted 13 June 2011

Where: Ascot Racecourse Main Entrance, High Street, Ascot
Date: Thursday 16 June 2011 – Ladies’ Day
Time: 11.00 am to 2.30 pm. Photo call – 12 noon

As part of Animal Aid's call for a ban on the use of the whip in horse racing, Playboy model Victoria Eisermann will be at the gates of Royal Ascot on Ladies’ Day in true dominatrix mood. She will be offering punters the surprise experience of a spanking, using a diamond studded whip. This will allow race-goers a chance to experience a similar beating to that which horses will receive from jockeys during the Royal race meeting.

Ms Eisermann will also don a stunning couture Ladies’ Day hat featuring an elaborate design of flaying whips, reminiscent of that worn by Princess Eugenie at the royal wedding.

Why all the fuss? The public was outraged to see this year’s Grand National winner, Ballabriggs, being thrashed at the end of a race that left him so exhausted he needed oxygen. In fact, whip abuse is endemic in British racing.

In March this year, Animal Aid published the results of a damning investigation revealing widespread, repeated and flagrant breaches of the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) rules on whipping. The report Beaten to The Line reveals that there were a staggering 887 breaches of the BHA’s rules during 2010. Many horses were wealed and one horse, Justabout, was wealed on two separate occasions. Another thoroughbred, Private Be, collapsed and died immediately after a race in which his jockey was found to have whipped him excessively. His rider – Richard Johnson – received just a one-day ban but kept his prize-money.

Such is the concern within the industry itself that Towcester racecourse has broken ranks and announced that it will ban the use of the whip from October 2011. This is a profound and significant move that Animal Aid – which has campaigned against the whip for a decade – is now pressing Britain’s other 59 courses across the country to follow.

Says Animal Aid's Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

‘The whip is an instrument of pain. Race-goers will be able to experience for themselves just how horses feel when they are beaten. Animal Aid has been at the forefront of the campaign to ban the whip for a decade and we are convinced the public is with us on this important animal welfare issue. In October, the British Horseracing Authority is due to report its findings into the use of the whip, and unless it declares that a ban must follow, it will be betraying its duty to protect the welfare of horses.’

More information

  • For full background and interviews, contact Andrew Tyler or Dene Stansall on 01732 364546
  • ISDN line available for broadcast-quality interviews

Notes to editors

  • Read Animal Aid’s Beaten to the Line report
  • A 2004 Animal Aid investigation, called A Hiding to Nothing, demonstrated that – cruelty issues aside – the use of the whip by jockeys does not improve their chances of winning. The survey comprised a meticulous investigation of 161 races run during October and November 2003, involving 285 jockeys and 1,500 horses. Nearly 200 tables described how often and when in a race a whip was used.
  • The findings of Animal Aid’s 2004 whip survey (see above) have been reinforced by a new University of Sydney report which also concludes that whipping race horses does not improve performance. Read An Investigation of Racing Performance and Whip Use by Jockeys in Thoroughbred Races

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