John Veitch failed in his responsibility to those who wagered on horseracing in Kentucky! That failure extends to his responsibilities to the Kentucky State Horse Racing Commission and all participants in Kentucky horseracing , including the horses. His acts and omissions, in my opinion, certainly justify his dismissal. However, his personal failings are not the entire cause of his demise.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, in using the “Chief Steward” format confers an unreasonable degree of authority upon the chief steward, thereby negating the intended purpose of having decisions determined by a majority vote of a Board of Stewards. In Kentucky, history has just demonstrated the results of having a chief steward and certainly one with the mindset of Mr. Veitch. Those of you who know Mr. Herbstreit or Mr. Becraft should ask them how many times two stewards had what appeared to be an appropriate decision that the Chief would have no part of. Had Mr. Veitch been working in a conventional system whereby any two votes by any two stewards would carry, he may have been saved from himself on occasion.
Perhaps with Mr. Guilfoil now at the helm, the commission will take a new look at the chief steward situation and require their stewards to write opinions of dissent when they vote in that manner. Believe me, much can be learned from those opinions. Approving and hiring only stewards which have demonstrated or can demonstrate a judicious manner of reaching decisions will strengthen each stewards’ stand in Kentucky and any other location within the industry.