California board votes to limit use of whips

Horse Racing

LOS ANGELES — The California Horse Racing Board voted Thursday to severely limit the use of whips on horses in racing statewide, and approved medication changes on a smaller scale following the deaths of 22 horses at Santa Anita Park.

The board votes came during a passionate meeting in which a group that represents jockeys argued that the whips were not connected to the horse deaths and that any drastic changes should be delayed for more study.

Board members rejected that idea, with two saying they personally witnessed whips being overused on some of the horses that died at Santa Anita, and that if the sport of horse racing is to survive, changes are necessary.

“Going after a horse with a whip when it was obvious that the horse in question had nothing left to give is something I never want to see again,” said Madeline Auerbach, the board’s vice chair.

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