An Open Letter To Stewards And Racing Commissioners


I know this is going to produce a great deal of resentment and hate, but I can handle that.  Of much greater importance is the fact that I know what I am about to say is pure unadulterated truth.  What I can’t handle is watching the Horse Racing Industry going down the tubes because too many of its’ regulators are too easily intimidated, have a poor set of values and their own personal agenda.  Like it or not, each Board of Stewards is the main line of resistance between the integrity of the industry and those who choose to work  outside the rules.  Adjudications that are well thought out, legally sound and based upon testimony and evidence contained in the record, will withstand appeal to the commission most of the time.  Unfortunately some very sound decisions by stewards are modified by commissioners upon review.  There are several reasons for this, none of which are acceptable and it must stop.  An excessive number of Boards 0f Stewards and Racing Commissioners are producing adjudications that will cause little or no corrective action on the matter at hand or any over-all improvement in attitudes toward the Law and the Rule Book.  As regulators of an industry which has lost all credibility with a majority of its’ participants and patrons you are not turning matters of compliance in a positive direction.  Is it caused by feelings that you must be politically correct in what you do?  Are you hanging your hats on the recommended penalties of Racing Commissioners International?  Those proposed penalties are entirely too soft and will not get the job done.  You are dealing with some people who have no respect for Law or Rules and unfortunately they can only be reached with fear.  Fear of lengthy suspensions.  Let me assure you that there is not such an atmosphere present at this time in the industry.  This is the direct effect of soft rulings on the part of Boards of Stewards and Racing Commissioners.  GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO FEAR AND I GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL TURN IT AROUND.  Fines are not an effective measure to deal with these problems.  If you really want to change things you will have to do it with lengthy suspensions.  Send these people down the road for a while.  A good while.  After ordering said lengthy suspensions, stewards need to follow up on the suspension of trainers and not allow this automatic transfer of horses to the assistant trainer or some other person with a trainer’s license that is willing to aid and abet an attempt to circumvent the suspension.  With a little effort you can get to the truth of those matters.  If you intimidate easily, allow yourself to be intimated by the cold hard fact that the unemployment statistics for stewards will skyrocket if you do not turn this situation around.  It needs to be done quickly!  The ball is in your court.  Do something or prepare to pay the price.

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