I hear cries for the BHA to be ‘sitting all night’ to resolve this. Why should they? They spent 10 months and a lot of money consulting. They won the support of the PJA and NTF. If the PJA in particular lacked the foresight to seek a short pilot project before endorsing the new rules, that is not the fault of the BHA.
I agree the timing for introduction was poor. I think Paul Roy is not competent for this job and never has been. But on the single issue of the new whip rules, I think the BHA did a comprehensive, highly professional piece of work. Their track record as whipping boys has allowed the real culprit here – the PJA – to escape virtually scot-free.
For Mr Darley to be trying to now hurry the BHA along is brass-necked in the extreme. His competence, which should already be in serious doubt, is in question again with these veiled strike threats.
A strike would bring public scorn and media humiliation on jockeys. It would set the sport back years. The British public is pretty intolerant of strikes in any sector these days; there is always a degree of sympathy for miners, steelworkers, firefighters etc, but if the PJA believe they’ll be viewed kindly when striking, they are seriously deluded.
The BHA is a long way from perfection, but in this case, they are being very unfairly pilloried. Anyone with a sense of justice should let the bandwagons trundle on without their support.