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Sunday, September 30, 2012

The USTA Rule Change Proposals - Part 2

Continuing on with the proposals for rule changes, we will look at the last six proposals. For those who missed my discussion of the first set of rule change proposals, you may read them here.

5. A proposal to amend Rule 17, Section 5, Subsection (c) to read as follows: "Be at least 16 years of age for an (M) license."

Approve. We know where this proposal comes from. Many of you remember the twelve year old who was taken off of his unraced two year old in a matinee race at Goshen's Historic Track. Yes, there may be a talented twelve year old out there who can handle a horse but the fact is they are not as physically strong as they are when they are sixteen years old. Driving horses is dangerous. If nothing else, you can be a driver with golden hands but even if you are great with your horse, you need to react to what someone else may be doing with their horse. If you want to race horses bad enough, you will wait until you are sixteen.

6. Amend Rule 24, Section 1, to change the timing of races from “fifths of seconds” to “one hundredths of a second.”

Approve with revisions preferred. Well, this rule change makes its annual appearance and thanks to a change this time, I can agree with its approval. In the past, the rule called for each horse to be individually timed but this time it is with regards to the race winner only. I do think timing to a hundredths of a second is much overkill, but if the powers to be agree, so be it. I think this proposal would be better if timing of races went from fifths of seconds to tenths of seconds, the standard used outside of North America.

7. A proposal to amend Rule 26, Section 2(h) by changing to first sentence to read as follows: “the status of a previously registered Standardbred may be changes to Pleasure Horse upon application by the owner and surrender of the Registration Certificate to the USTA."

Approve. There has been some confusion about what needs to be done to get a Pleasure Horse registration designation. Anything which cleans up the confusion is a good thing.

8. A proposal to add new section to Rule 20 – STANDARD OF CONDUCT to read as follows: “Any person who shall represent themselves to be the registered owner of a horse knowing said horse to be owned wholly or in part by a person or persons barred or otherwise disqualified from participating in racing shall be suspended from membership in this Association for a minimum of 1 year.”

Approve (with reservations). Quite honestly, a one year suspension for claiming to own a horse which actually is owned by someone who is not eligible to race is not sufficient. That being said, one year is better than nothing. Yes, I know one year is a minimum, but often the minimum penalty is what is given.

9. A proposal to amend the Bylaws to provide that any appeal from the denial, revocation or suspension of membership under the provisions of Article 3, Section 4 must be heard by the Full Board of Directors.

Approve. The Full Board of Directors refers to the District Boards, not the board of the entire USTA. A person who is denied membership or has had their membership suspended or revoked is entitled to having their case heard behind the entire district board of review, not just who makes the effort to attend a hearing.

10. A proposal to amend Article 1, section 3, (m) to read as follows: “Forthwith, any person who been the subject of a final order in a prosecution under any state animal welfare statute shall be disqualified from membership in this Association for a minimum period of one year with the length of disqualification beyond one year to be determined by the gravity of the offense.”

Approve. Approval of this proposal is important for several reasons. First of all, as the explanation with the proposal suggests, certain states include horses in other animal welfare law. Secondly, a person can avoid conviction by agreeing to pre-trial intervention which unless this proposal is adopted, would allow them to escape discipline from the USTA.


Anonymous said...

wonder why you haven`t touched on the dq sat at red mile. possibly the worst ever.
personally i had 10 to show on the one and six and odds on always had a little hitch but still it should be addressed.

Pacingguy said...

The reason I didn't address the DQ is because based on what I saw, I could see where the judges came up with their conclusion.

That being said, I have not been able to see a head on shot which would have allowed me to see if Sears caused the problem.

That being said, I will talk about it today.