I read in the media that the use of the whip, or what in South Africa is euphemistically called a ‘crop’, is once again under discussion in horse racing circles. What a sad and depressing subject this is.
Although the use of a whip or crop in horse racing has been the centre of debate, both inside and outside of racing circles for many years, no satisfactory answer has been arrived at, as both pro and anti-groups continue to debate the topic.
Certain limits have been placed on the use of the crop while racing, such as the fact that it may only be used during the final 200 metres of a race, the horse may receive but a limited number of strokes per stride, the use of a lighter crop, and punishment of jockeys who overuse the crop.
But the practice as a whole is barbaric and surely does not fit into the expectations of modern society, the current racing scene, or animal lovers in general.
The ludicrous argument put forward by certain members of the racing fraternity, that the horse does not feel pain when whipped, defies logic. Why is the crop in use at all then?
I am told that a horse can feel a fly on its skin; if so, a blow from a forcefully swung crop must be extremely painful.
Is it not time for the use of crops to be banned and for these instruments of torture to become some curious museum items that remind of a former, primitive era?
Kevin Meineke, Plett