IT APPEARS that Rita Johnson knows little about horse racing (Letters, October 10). Strict industry guidelines do exist and indeed recently been made tighter.

The whip is used by a jockey to correct erratic running just as much as to encourage the horse to run faster. When used properly, the modern lightweight equipment carries no more threat than a rolled up newspaper.

Every race in this country is filmed by a number of cameras from every possible angle, therefore addressing Ms Johnson’s concerns that the stewards don’t know what goes on.

With further regard to the wellbeing of racehorses, they are the most pampered of creatures, living in the animal equivalent of a five-star hotel. They have the very best of stabling, food, exercise and care.

Perhaps Ms Johnson should see this for herself and visit the open day at Middleham in the spring. For more details visit

Paul Spink, Seventh Avenue, Heworth, York.