“We should change the wording” of the whip.
Former 20-time Champion Jump Jockey Sir AP McCoy has told William Hill’s new podcast, Up Front with Simon Jordan, that the wording around the whip needs changing in order to benefit the sport of horse racing.
Speaking on William Hill’s Up Front with Simon Jordan, a brand-new podcast hosted by the former Crystal Palace owner who speaks to sports stars and celebrities and challenges their opinions whilst scrutinising their careers, McCoy said: “The word whip is not a good thing. What it is now is air-cushioned and so well padded, it’s not anywhere near what it used to be, so I think we could change the wording of it.
"There is a place for it and I think, if they make the right decisions, it won’t be [be banned]. I don’t think it’s abusive in the way it has been and I would genuinely let you hit me across the hand with one now!"
Horses get better care than humans
"Animal Rights protestors have recently highlighted the topic of racehorse welfare and much of the recent debate in horse racing has been around the care of its animals. McCoy was asked for his thoughts on the situation and believes horses are, in fact, given better care than many humans are."
"Sometimes I feel jealous of a horse; if you call a vet, in five or 10 minutes they’ll be there,” he said. “If you’re in a hospital, you could be waiting, God, however long for care! A horse is so much better off than a human."
"The man I used to ride for, JP McManus, has full-time vets that check his horses every couple of weeks. You don’t get humans having their health checked every couple of weeks. He likes having them [horses] at home – he’s got any God’s amount of them there. Istabraq is 31 now and he’s had a better retirement than I’ll ever have!"
More time in the ambulance than other jockeys
McCoy also looked back on his time in the saddle and talked about the dangers facing jockeys in races: “It is a very dangerous sport and I’ve, unfortunately, seen jockeys suffer life-changing injuries and I’ve seen jockeys suffer fatal injuries. I’ve got images in my head that will never go away.
"The reality of it is that there’s two ambulances going round behind you and I thought ‘I’m going to be in there more than anyone else because I’m going to be out there more than anyone else.’ I knew I was going to get injured. I broke my ankle, leg, arm, wrist, back, both shoulder blades, all my ribs, both collar bones and my sternum and I actually thought if I could have a period of not having any of that I’d done well."
"I thought for three or four minutes when I broke my back at Warwick and I couldn’t feel anything that I didn’t know if the sweat running down my face was from pain or fear. If someone came along and said ‘look I don’t have any painkillers, but I have a gun – do you want me to shoot you?’ after 30 seconds I would have said yes. That’s how bad the pain was."
"All I wanted to do was prove the doctor wrong. All I wanted to do is prove that I can get over these injuries and ride again."