Letter To The Editor: Move By The Jockeys’ Guild At Monmouth Dangerous, Unfair To Riders

The Jockeys’ Guild decision to cancel insurance for jockeys who ride in races at Monmouth Park is vindictive and dangerous.

To proclaim Monmouth’s new whip policy “extremely dangerous and is creating an even greater risk to both the equine and human athletes, including the potential for injury and/or loss of life to the jockeys and the horses” is in my opinion an extreme over-dramatization. But to characterize the jockeys’ situation as “extremely dangerous” and at the same time refuse to insure them is a new level of histrionics and reveals the Jockeys’ Guild to be an organization of bad faith.

As a long-time fan of Thoroughbred racing, I frankly fail to see how not being allowed to whip a horse to make it perform is “dangerous.” The rule does not prohibit the use of the whip if needed to avoid a dangerous situation within a race.

It comes down to an unwillingness on the part of the Jockeys’ Guild to adapt to the new realities of public perception of animal welfare. Their punitive and backward approach will cause harm to the very group whose interests they claim to represent.

Holly Brunner, Thoroughbred owner and fan

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