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Friday, October 11, 2013

What Racing's Participants are Forgetting

In Harness  Racing Update, Tim Tetrick and Brian Sears were basically saying "What did we do wrong?" when it came to the infamous booting incident in last Saturday's Tattersalls Pace where Captaintreacherous and Vegas Vacation were locked in a stretch duel.  Both argued that they didn't strike the horse with their foot.  As Tetrick claims, his boots didn't even touch the Captain; the horse brushed against the side of his leg.  Such a practice doesn't even hurt the horse.

Perhaps the worst part is Tetrick's claim that the only complaints he hears is when he doesn't do 'it'; not Tetrick's claim itself but the fact others are asking him to do kick (boot) the horse.  Whether you agree with the legitimacy of kicking a horse or not, one can't deny it looks bad and racing foes as well as well as the general public are not going to be drawn to a sport where it looks like a horse is being hurt.  Trying to educate the public you are not physically hurting them but trying to scare the bejeezus (or use another word) out of the horse to get him to go faster isn't going to win you any fans either as they may consider it mental abuse (anthromorphizing here).

Drivers, trainers and owners need to recognize they are not only participants in racing but they are like it or not part of racing's marketing efforts.  Whether squeaky clean or not, what these participants do on and off the track is going to contribute to the decision of whether existing customer are going to stick around or not and whether potential customers are going to consider racing as a viable entertainment.

The sooner people recognize this, the better off the sport will be.  For perception purposes only, kicking/booting needs to come to an end.


Anonymous said...

I agree

Anonymous said...


Well said!

I respect Tetrick's ability and I won't call him a liar, but I suspect 100% of people who viewed the video would say his foot was touching the horse. If only his leg was in contact with the horse, we'd have seen his pants moving as the horse's leg came back.

The drivers defense of what they do in the stretch doesn't pass the sniff test. I understand it's what has become acceptable to them (and even to the Kentucky judge who said he told drivers it was okay), but it's a rule and they're breaking it.

Does this mean a driver assigned the 9 or 10 post should line up in the 1 hole to give his horse the best chance? Horse racing has rules. You don't get to pick and choose which to follow.

Judges and racing commissions are also part of the problem for doing very little enforcement. And fines of $50 or $100 or even $500 when violators are cited do little to discourage anyone because there's so much money at stake.

Can you imagine how many banks would be held up if a conviction meant a $500 fine? Racing needs to wake up now.

I'm waiting to hear, "We can do XXX." We've heard, "We CAN'T do XXX" far too long.

edge1124 said...

Tim Tetrick is acting like a 5 year old...I didn't do he is trying to tell the public that the sole of his boot did not touch any part of the horse's leg???? Back peddle some more TT...he should be embarrassed.