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My Problem with Chris Symons' Interview - Why a whip ban would only be the beginning

Alex Marsh believes it's time to stop placating those who want to destroy racing
Chris Symons
Chris Symons with whip in hand rides Odeon to a win on 2017 Melbourne Cup Day (Getty Images)

My Problem with Chris Symons' Interview - Why a whip ban would only be the beginning

Chris Symons sent the bets.com.au office into a feverish debate last week with his radio interview RSN927 interview pertaining to a potential ban on the whip.

Symons is more than entitled to his opinion and while he made some valid and correct arguments, his reasoning behind why a ban should be imposed seems illogical.

The safety issue a ban on the whip would pose to jockeys, compounded by the lack of understanding of the impacts it has on a horse is one of the main reasons why there’s conjecture around the issue, which makes his reasoning behind why he believes a ban should be implemented confusing.

Symons told RSN on November 21 that: “I’ll probably lose friends and colleagues for this comment, but it’s 2019 and perception is 99 per cent of everything, and for that reason, there needs to be changes with the use of the whip.”

Perception isn’t reality in this case.

People complaining about the whip use don't understand its function and/or refuse take the time to listen to industry experts regarding the effects of the whip. 

They also couldn't care less about listening and taking into account information from anyone with any knowledge on thoroughbreds that could educate them.

The perception is irrelevant and guess what? Racing has been pandering to ill-informed minorities for far too long.

It's how the flawed whip rules we currently endure got introduced to begin with.

Symons went on to say: “All publicity, photographs and images that are used to promote our industry, those photos are taken in the last 100m of a race, all the jockeys have their hands above their heads, so that’s a bad look for us.”

Some people are never going to be placated, and that’s what Symons is failing to understand here. Once the whip is gone they’ll come for every other piece of gear until racing is stripped bare. 

Anything is a bad look to those that will find something wrong with horse racing regardless of what happens in the last 100m of a race.

These people won't change their opinion on the sport if the whip is outlawed so what's the point? 

Racing is a niche sport for its regulars and supporters. Look after the punters and participants. Stuff the outsiders and haters. If you don't like it that's fine, leave us to enjoy it.

Chris, ultimately you're wasting your time trying to appease those that won't care until it's trendy to bring up the whips and their false horse racing beliefs once again.

True to form, they should be about due to re-appear with their nonsense come the spring carnival of 2020 before disappearing into the wilderness for another year.

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