A recent article in the Louisville Courier-Journal quotes Executive Director John Ward and Acting Chief Steward Barbara Borden’s comments on the lasix errors committed by the commission vets. Mr. Ward says that “We no longer have horses being treated with lasix after the four hour limit”. Ms. Borden tells the same reporter that fifteen minute grace periods have been granted in the past. Does Mr. Ward know of these fifteen minute grace periods and does he approve? Nowhere in the rule is there a provision for a grace period. This act is in direct violation of the rule and its’ intended purpose. Again we see the Kentucky Commission, through their Acting Chief Steward, violating their own rules. Every time I see any action or ruling from Kentucky Stewards I always wonder what the other two stewards really thought of the decision. Because of the ridiculous format of having a Chief Steward dominate the acts and omissions of the board, there are too many “unknowns” lurking around any decision. The two stewards other than the Chief are not going to make any waves about decisions they do not agree with in the interest of job security. As a result, every participant in Kentucky racing is deprived of a fair hearing in any instance where they are alleged to have violated a rule or rules. When the commission violates its own rules the circumstances are always seen through a different lens.
All stewards should be required to submit written reports on all decisions they participate in stating why they voted as they did and their reasons for doing so. Until that happens, actions of the stewards will continue to lack the transparency they deserve.