9th December 2015

09-December-2015 12:49
in General
by Admin

Legal Exit jumped a few fences in the school. 

 Hag Stone didn't have a problem jumping hurdles.


The same applied to Allstar Vinnie who jumped a few fences having jumped the hurdles.

All the 3 year olds jumped fences in the school having cantered around the sand. 2 more loads of sand have arrived as I want to increase the depth agian. It will be put on tomorrow. 

                                                 An Owners Reflections 2

We do not come from racing backgrounds. Not surprisingly then nor do our friends. When they come with us to the races they are often “first-timers” and full of questions. I can answer most but the one I always struggle with regards “the use of the whip”. And I struggle because the whip rules do not stand up to logical analysis. They are an unfinished task; introduced primarily in the interests of horse welfare some 4 years ago. I can remember the huge debate within the racing media that accompanied them. My sense was that the authorities had made a good start. Majority opinion considered the whip essential for optimum control of the horse and by extension enhanced safety of both horse and rider. It is also an aid to encouragement of a lazy or dispirited horse. Where most jockeys were appropriate in their behavior, a minority exceeded comfortable limits – in some cases by a long way. Rules – and sanctions – were deemed necessary and that part of the issue I find I can describe and justify to my friends with confidence. Furthermore the declaration of absolute numbers of permitted strikes with the whip –albeit inevitably slightly arbitrary- seemed a laudable effort to reduce the potential for interpretation, challenge and ultimately unfair racing.

But the horse cannot win without the jockey on its back as it crosses the line. They are a unit.

And the fact that the jockey can be found to be in violation of the rules but the horse can keep its finishing position in the race denies that unity. And that is where I struggle in my explanation to friends. Under the Horseracing jurisdiction last summer a horse that had its ear plugs removed on the way to the start line was disqualified from the race before it even started. Because “rules is rules”.

It was not the horse that removed them – it was the jockey of course; but it was the unit that was disqualified.

Until the same simple sanction is applied in whip violations –aided I would suggest by instant TV replays in the Stewards room- I believe Racing will appear to the outside world to be insincere regarding its stance over horse welfare and fair sport. Which does it a great disservice. We may not have been born into it but we have known it long enough to understand that the opposite is true.