Your Guide to Equine Health Care

Whip Use in Horse Racing Debated

Equitation scientists and a national racing authority share their differing opinions on whip use and horse welfare.

No account yet? Register


Whip use in Thoroughbred racing is painful and unnecessary for the sport, despite suggestions to the contrary released in an official United Kingdom racing guide, according to a group of equitation scientists. But the authority that published that racing guide is standing by its report.

Paul McGreevy, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS, MACVS (Animal Welfare), professor of Animal Behavior and Animal Welfare Science at the University of Sydney, in Australia, believes the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) 2011 report, Responsible Regulation: A Review of the Use of the Whip in Horseracing, defends the use of the whip based on unfounded scientific principles.

“Horse whipping is arguably the most public and visible form of violence to animals,” McGreevy said.

McGreevy criticized the BHA report in a recently published open-access review co-authored by fellow Australian scientist Bidda Jones, PhD; Australian lawyer Jed Goodfellow, PhD; and UK veterinarian James Yeates, BVSc, BSc, DWEL, PhD,

Create a free account with to view this content. is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


No account yet? Register

Written by:

Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

This poll is no longer accepting votes

Which hoof problem do you encounter most often in your horses?
342 votes · 342 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with!