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Kieren Fallon lashes out at racing authorities

Champion Jockey Kieren Fallon has said that he feels that his fellow jockeys are being bullied by racing's bosses, and that they will need to fight back against them. The Irishman is outraged at the British Horseracing Authority's handing of the new whip rules.

The threat of a jockey's strike is in the air, and having a six-time champion coming out to criticise the sport's governing body can't be good for the immediate future of the sport. Five jockeys have been suspended after breaching the new whip regulations, which demand that a jockey doesn't use it more than six times in a race, but Fallon says that there's no way that anyone can keep an accurate count of how many times he used it while racing, and wants the rules to be relaxed.

'We all need to stand up for ourselves,' Fallon told the Guardian. 'We're being bullied all the time. That's the top and bottom of it. The BHA know that as well.

'Our prize money has gone about a third down. How can they justify putting up fines for jockeys? If we're late in the paddock, we get fined. Crazy. I don't use my whip much. That doesn't mean I wouldn't hit a horse more than six times. It happens easily.

'We don't count like these people [BHA officials]. We're just concentrating on getting the best out of our horse. You can't be going, one, two, three… We don't mind using the silly whips either, the air-cushioned ones that just make a pop, a noise. [But] who are the BHA bowing down to?

'Is it the RSPCA? Do they have the equivalent organisation in Ireland or France or Germany? Obviously they do. So how come the RSPCA in those countries are not getting involved? Why is it only in English racing?'

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