Struthers wants whip discussion

Newly appointed Professional Jockeys Association chief executive Paul Struthers is ready to discuss the controversial whip rules with his colleagues and get his own view on the subject across.

The 38-year-old – who left his role as the British Horseracing Authority head of communications – admits that he is excited about getting going in his new job, aware that the whip issue – which limits the amount of times jockeys can use this technique – ‘has not gone away’ and is still very unpopular amongst many who get cheltenham odds.

Speaking ahead of getting started in his role as chief executive, Struthers said: “I’ve enjoyed the last couple of months as it has given me time to spend with my family, but I’m delighted to get back to work and feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity.”

“Clearly the whip issue has not gone away. Just because I have not been working in the sport for two and a half months, it does not mean I have not been following developments closely. There are major issues which need addressing and I have my own ideas, but it is important to get a clear mandate from the PJA members.

“Jockeys deserve huge credit for their Herculean efforts over the past couple of months, changing to a completely different set of rules overnight. I don’t officially start working until February 13, but I will be getting out on the racecourse to talk to jockeys and get a clear picture of what changes they feel are needed.”

“Hopefully we’ll get a chance to sit down with Jamie Stier and Paul Bittar from the BHA in the very near future. I know there was a meeting on Friday and there is another one coming up either just before or just after I start work.”

Struthers two most recent roles are extremely different of course, as noted by those over at  He is on the other side of the fence now so to speak, but he believes this is something that could prove beneficial in the long run.

Referring to the transition, he said: “That was an issue which came up during the recruitment process, but I don’t see it being a major issue. When you change jobs, you normally have a different job to do and that will be the case.”

It will no doubt be a busy 2012 for Struthers and his team as they aim to clarify the situation on the whip role and perform admirably in other areas.


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