Stop the Merciless Whipping of Race Horses


Target: Peter McGauran, Australian Racing Board, CEO

Goal: Ban the whip used to hit horses during races.

Horses are brutally whipped on Australian racetracks all for the purpose of trying to come in first place. If this practice is not banned, many more horses will experience painful lashings from callous individuals.

In order to try and make a horse run faster, a jockey is allowed to whip his horse five times non-consecutively if the action is performed with a forehanded strike and as long as the striking takes place in the last 100 meters of the race. Even worse, a jockey is allowed to whip a horse however many times he or she would like as long as a backhanded strike is used.

Sadly, it was recently discovered by a veterinarian that a horse’s top layer of skin is even thinner than a human’s, likely making being whipped extremely painful. In fact, when jockeys used a backhanded strike to hit pressure-detecting pads during a particular study, there was much more force applied to the pad than when a forehanded strike was used, invalidating the argument that when a horse is whipped with a backhanded strike, it is less painful than when hit with a forehanded motion.

Frames from another study also showed that horses were left with major lacerations after being whipped numerous times in 15 races. Sixty four percent of those times the unpadded part of the whip hit the horse, making the beatings even more painful than when the padded part was used.

Sign this petition and tell the head of the horse racing industry in Australia that there are better ways to handle horses. If jockeys are incapable of doing so without a whip, they shouldn’t be racing at all.


Dear Mr. McGauran,

Horses are severely whipped on racetracks in Australia every day for no other reason than to try and win a race. If this continues to be allowed, many more horses will be abused.

Although jockeys are only allowed to whip horses a few times at the end of the race using a forehanded strike, using a backhanded strike is allowed throughout the race. Both types of strikes have left lacerations on horses, indicating that both types of whippings are likely extremely painful.

Even though jockeys will only be allowed either “five forehand or backhand whip strikes prior to the 100 meters,” by the end of 2015, these horses are still going to experience pain as long as they continue to be whipped.

For all of these reasons, I urge you to ban this cruel practice. If whips need to be used on horses, the sport should be banned altogether.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Softeis

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  1. Patricia Dumais says:

    Let’s all boycott horse racing!

  2. Sheila Blackwell says:

    Just because jockeys have always used a whip to beat the horses has never been the right thing. STOP THE HORSE ABUSE NOW.

  3. Christine Bennett says:

    These animals feel pain just as humans do. Horses have a more extensive network of sensitive nerve endings under their skin than humans.

    The practice of whipping is immensely cruel. It appals and disgusts me that this practice is permitted. This cruelty should be equally appalling to ANY person involved with horses.

  4. They do the same thing here in the US I believe PETA got after them about it and they were supposed to have changed the material the whips are made from but I doubt that. When you see a race on television the whips are going like mad. I would agree I would like to see the riders whipped all the way around the track see how they would like it.

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