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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What Would Have Happened at Ocean Downs?

By now many of you may have seen the fifth race from Hoosier Park last night when Trace Tetrick became an unfortunate passenger of JDS when the right line of the horse broke before at the start of the race.  Fortunately for Tetrick, JDS had learned his lessons well as he raced himself along the inside, avoiding danger before the outrider was able to get hold of him.  All wagers on the race were refunded and all's well that ends well.

At most tracks, there is an outrider who is there for just this very reason, to ensure events like this don't end tragically.

However, one has to wonder what the situation would have been like at Ocean Downs in Maryland, where no outrider is present.  If the horse was like JDS and stayed to the inside, what may have happened is the horse would just have had to tire itself out.  But what if the horse decided to make a sharp unannounced turn to the right?  A collision resulting in injuries?  Horses having to be euthanized?  Drivers hospitalized or worse?

The time has come for ALL tracks to have outriders.  If management is unwilling to hire an outrider, horsemen should go to the Maryland Racing Commission and demand they order an outrider be employed.

1 comment:

Marv said...

Thankfully, the horses are well trained and the drivers are usually of high quality and they all know what to do.

Years ago, I watched a race at Saginaw Valley Harness. The horse went down at the start and the driver was dumped. When the horse got up, he was facing the "wrong way," went to the outside as he was trained to do and jogged right off the track through the draw gate and to the stables. I watched the who race with the driver of that horse who walked to the outside rail.

I suspect if there were no outrider at HoP, the horse would have tired, the field gone around him and another driver would have later corralled the horse.

I agree that all tracks should have outriders. But training and horsemanship helps.