Thoroughbred Idea Foundation Urges Greater Transparency In Stewarding

by | 08.14.2019 | 1:30pm
Maximum Security and jockey Luis Saez cross the finish line ahead of Flavien Prat and Country House, but Maximum Security was disqualified and placed 17th

The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation released a new white paper which outlines issues relative to stewarding, their reporting on incidents related to racing and the lack of transparency which accompanies such incidents, particularly in light of the oversights apparent in the process of demoting Maximum Security in the 2019 Kentucky Derby.

“Make no mistake, the stewards made the appropriate decision in light of the rules as they exist today in Kentucky. While the discussion to adapt to the internationally-accepted Category 1 rules philosophy has developed well since our November 2018 paper,” said Patrick Cummings, TIF executive director, “there is still far more to be done to get us on the right track with a more consistent standard for adjudicating races.”

“As for this follow-up paper, the process of the Derby demotion revealed a series of failings, some of which are undeniably attributable to the stewards themselves, but to a more concerning degree, some of which are symptomatic of a sport that has not developed in a modern era where officials are far more transparent to customers.”

“This is more than just a debate about Category 1 or Category 2. The referees of racing operate amidst an infrastructure and style in North America which is much too casual and has not modernized with the rest of the world. Stewards' reports, in states where they even exist, vary widely in quality and detail. The topics routinely covered are minimal compared to a far more robust platform which exists in racing jurisdictions around the world.”

“We commend the Jockey Club for their investment in its recently announced plan to embed veteran and apprentice stewards overseas, developing a new generation of champions for an advanced approach to the stewarding of races. It's one thing to hear about the seriousness with which foreign jurisdictions manage their tasks, but seeing it in practice over a prolonged period will have a lasting effect. This is a significant investment and one that should be welcomed by all racing stakeholders, particularly bettors and owners.”

Read full TIF Reports: Seeking Transparency

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