This past Friday night at the Meadowlands, Tim Tetrick was a guest on the pre-racing show where he once again defended his kicking (oops, nudging) of Captaintreacherous during the 2013 Grand Circuit stop at Lexington along with fellow booter Brian Sears on Vegas Vacation. You probably remember this race, especially when the judge says there was no kicking only to have the KHRC quickly retract and issue $500 fines for the kicking/booting.
As reported by Standardibred Canada, Tetrick comments on how he believes nudging the horses causes no pain to them, something I find hard to believe (think what happens to you if you back into someone's foot in the back of your knee when you walk). Somewhat surprisingly, most comments on the Standardbred Canada website were not favorable towards Tetrrick's position. One comment in particular stands out which explained an equine professional at a Canadian University weighed in on nudging and indicated their belief that a nudge is compounded by the speed which the hock is hitting the foot. Their belief is any impact could cause significant amounts of pain and even damage.
Kicking, booting, or nudging, whatever you want to call it is illegal. There is a reason why the rule was implemented before this event blew up. Mr. Tetrick would best be served by trying to live by the rules and stop complaining about a position he can't win. His words will only hurt racing in the long run. He should also consider who the end consumer of racing is.
Speaking of controversial issues, Jay Bergman's column yesterday regarding the concentration of horses in certain stable was met either by approval or scorn. One person in particular mentioned how dare you tell an owner who they can use as a trainer.
As with the booting question, the issue regarding the concentration of horses with a few trainers boils down to the question 'Who is the End Consumer of racing"? If it is the customer, then how long do you think they will be wagering if you have races with two or three trainers with most of the horses in a race? If you think racing is for the horse owner, then keep on doing what we are doing and soon you will be racing for blankets.
As one person noted, does it matter what the customer thinks when horse owners are racing for slot money? How long do you think the slot money will keep pouring in if the customers we have abandon the sport.
I suggest racing really think about who the end customer is before they defend their actions or criticize the writings of any scribe.