Endurance GB bans whips in bid to improve horse welfare

  • The use of whips has been banned in competition by Endurance GB (EGB) as it “remains committed to being at the forefront of equine welfare”.

    The board and members of the national governing body for endurance voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of banning the use of whips, and the use of any other item as a whip, in all competitive rides affiliated to EGB from 2024.

    The vote, at the EGB AGM on 25 November, brings EGB in line with the FEI, which also bans whips, and any item used as one, at all times on the field of play and in training areas.

    “Key elements of the AGM are board and member proposals to make changes to the rules that govern the sport,” an EGB spokesman said. “These rule changes are voted on by the membership and ensure the sport remains agile and in touch with the environment in which it operates.

    “With the current focus on the equestrian world’s ‘social licence to operate’ the board of Endurance GB and members voted overwhelmingly to ban the use of whips (or the use of any other item as a whip) in all competitive endurance rides affiliated to Endurance GB.

    “Endurance riding in the UK remains committed to being at the forefront of equine welfare and biosecurity.”

    EGB chair Phil Nunnerley told H&H the welfare of the horse is “considered to be paramount in endurance riding”, and that the ban on whips is “consistent with the priority attached to welfare”.

    British international endurance rider Harry Ingram added: “We haven’t had whips at FEI level for a long time so this rule brings the more competitive national classes in line with the international rules.

    “Horses generally want to eat up the miles in endurance, so there really is no reason to carry a whip and what better way to really put horse welfare first than to ban them altogether?”

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