Time to learn a new definition of the term uncoupled. While most of us know it as allowing horses with a common interest racing as different wagering interests, the new definition is separating the casino from the raceing. It is playing out right now in Florida.
Greyhound proponents are proposing the state change their law to allow for the uncoupling of casinos from racetracks; in particular greyhound facilities. This decoupling would allow greyhound tracks with casino gambling to continue operating while allowing these tracks to shut down their greyhound operations.
While the anti-greyhound people are looking to decouple casino licenses from greyhound tracks, others are looking to allow decoupling at all racetracks, including harness racing tracks. Needless to say if tracks were given the option to drop their racing meets yet continue to operate their racinos, how long do you think it would take for companies like Harrah's to drop racing?
So when drivers ask what is the big deal about kicking/nudging/booting or whipping they need to think of decoupling. The bigger the perception that racing is cruel, not only is it more likely opponents of racing will work on decoupling casinos from racetracks, the more receptive legislators will be towards such legislation..
Horsemen in various areas may be successfully fighting to maintain their subsidies now, but once these groups get racing in their cross-hairs look out. All 'booting' and whipping is going to do is give them a larger bullseye to hit.
Jockey Chantal Sutherland-Krusse will be taking to the saddle again in monté competition, this time in Australia in the Aldebaran Park Monté Series taking place on March 22.