Jockeys are to strike on Monday in protest at the British Horseracing Association's new rule which will replace the traditional whip with a carrot on the end of a fishing rod.
Jockeys have claimed that the whip helps the horses to concentrate but a BHA spokesman has replied that nothing would keep a horse concentrating more on winning than the prospect of a tasty carrot on the end of a stick.
He claims the evidence for this can be seen in many cartoons, citing Huckleberry Hound as an example.
Rider, Ricardo Diminuto, was furious with the changes. “What happens if the horse reaches the carrot before the finish line? Or when carrots aren't in season? Horses are intelligent, they won't be fooled by a painted parsnip. They haven't thought this through.” He told our reporter. “And worse, it seems that we jockeys would be expected to provide our own fishing rods!”
This is a fact which the BHA vehemently denies.
“Fishing rods will be provided by the horse's owner, like the silks” said Brian Stephens of the BHA. Although he later admitted that jockeys may have to provide their own carrots.
Mr Stephens denied that this was a ploy to improve horses' eyesight in the dark thus increasing the number of evening race meetings in the calendar.