Jockeys in France will have less use of the whip when new rules come into force next month.

Controlling body France Galop has decided that the maximum number of strikes with the whip will be reduced from eight to six, beginning on February 1. The current limit has been in place since 2005 when it was reduced from 10.

Jockeys are not allowed to raise the whip above the shoulder and there are stricter penalties on apprentices and amateurs with an automatic one-day ban for second infractions within six months.

In Great Britain jockeys are allowed seven strikes in flat races and eight over jumps, while in Ireland officials will usually hold an inquiry if a jockey goes above 12 strikes.