Determining forces generated using a padded whip and impacts on the horse

Glenys Noble, Jessica Dodd, Sharon Nielsen, Brian Spurrell, Peter Knight

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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This report provides evidence-based information about the forces and pressures generated by padded whips approved for racing in Australia. Six padded whips were assessed using the two main whipping techniques used in racing ' forehand and backhand to determine the magnitude of several parameters associated with one object colliding with another, i.e. the whip striking a horse's rump, and if there were differences in these parameters between whip techniques. A comparison was also made between these parameter generated by an unpadded whip, previously used in racing. There was an attempt to put the forces parameters generated by padded whips into context by comparing the forces and pressures generated by padded whips with other kinds of contact made with the horse, such as patting, brushing, scraping down, girthing up and moving the horse on the ground. The effects of using the whip on athletic performance were evaluated using horses running on a high-speed treadmill.Padded whips have been mandatory in Australian thoroughbred racing since 1st August 2009, but there is no conclusive proof that they reduce pain, thus improving welfare.This research aimed to increase the understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of whips on horses and the welfare costs of whip usage, so that racing authorities and welfare organisations can make informed decisions regarding the use of the whip. It aimed to establish a framework within which whip research may be undertaken to address additional questions that may be asked in the future.The long term aim of this work was to provide science-based information to industry bodies and welfare organisations to assist in formulation of policies and guidelines concerning use of the whip.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra ACT
PublisherRural Industries Research and Development Corporation
Number of pages66
ISBN (Print)9781742546926
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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