Berry Success A European Whip Off

By: Ryan Clark
January 4th, 2012

Aussie trainers are already plundering European equine talent in the hunt for spring Cups success but could jockeys be the next to look north for the winning formula?

Despite Australian riders often being considered among the best in the world it seems the Europeans may have a thing or two to teach us when it comes to the use of the whip.

On the surface this seems strange, especially given the UK jockeys constant battle in coming to terms with new whipping legislation.

It’s not the timing that we’re talking about though, more the style and overall action itself.

It’s something Tommy Berry has certainly had a look at and the early days are promising for the soon-to-be 21 year old.

With his newly adopted style Berry booted home four winners at Doomben on Saturday including top Magic Millions chance Driefontein in the BJ McLachlan Stakes.

It’s no surprise where the inspiration to seek improvement came from either, it seems Craig Williams can simply do no wrong at the moment.

“I had a chat to Craig Williams about different riding tricks and he suggested I try out a more European style with the whip,” Berry said.

“By reaching right back and flicking the horses on the bum with a forehand grip it allows me to get lower in the saddle.

“It seems to be working.”

In fact it’s working so well that Williams may come to regret his advice when the two clash throughout 2012.

That being said there’s nothing new about international riders pinching bits and pieces off others from around the world.

Widely travelled veteran South African rider Jeff Lloyd is one advocate for the ‘hybrid style’ and he says even at 50 years of age there’s plenty to learn.

 “The competition in Hong Kong is extremely tough and you continually learn things from riding against the best in the world,” Lloyd said.

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