The use of the whip has been a hot topic of discussion in the harness racing industry for years. It can be argued that scrutiny in regard to whip use has never been higher than what it is right now. Although, a new product has hit the market that could see that scrutiny go through the roof.
An article by the Paulick Report has shed light on a new product – a ‘smart’ whip, so to speak – that contains technology which allows a more finite measurement of whip use during a horse race.
Currently designed for use in a Thoroughbred jockey’s riding crop, the product, which has been branded as the ‘WhipChip,’ measures the whipping energy, according to its makers. Via its ability to measure whipping energy, the WhipChip allows the strength of whipping to be measured. Those measurements can then be compared to limits set out by judges, who can then determine if a whipping violation has occurred.
The product has been developed by ESIT Elektronik, which is based out of Turkey. The WhipChip features an electronic movement sensor in the handle of the whip, which records all the data and records how many times and how hard a horse has been whipped. The data is collected via a microprocessor, transferred electronically to the judges, and can be stored.
(With files from the Paulick Report)