The obvious question that no-one is asking is this:
If the whip doesn’t hurt horses, why are there any restrictions on it use?
Australian Rule of Racing 132(7)(a)(ii) decrees that jockeys are only permitted to strike their mounts with the padded whip 5 times prior to the 100 metre mark. If the stick does no damage, then why have the rule at all?
The answer is self-evident.
The whip does hurt horses, and the rule is in place to minimise the pain.
The horse pictured at top is Vow and Declare, minutes after it had won last year’s Melbourne Cup.
Do you reckon the whip that created these welts didn’t hurt?