Monday, December 18, 2017

Our Role On Racedays

A Day at the Races

The running of each and every race in a fair manner is the responsibility of The Turf Club.

For even the smallest meet The Turf Club will have a team of at least 16 professionals on site ensuring integrity in all aspects of the meeting. The numbers on duty rise for larger meetings such as the Classics.

So what exactly does The Turf Club team do?

The Clerk of the Course is the person responsible to the Stewards for the general arrangements of the meeting and to see that all courses are properly measured and marked.

Once a horse arrives at the meeting it comes under the protection of Turf Club Security Personnel whose job it is to ensure that only those with the correct accreditation gain access to the stables area.

The Clerk of Scales weighs out the jockeys prior to every race ensuring that the correct weight, colours and number are carried, and also checks on use of blinkers and/or tonguestraps. He is also responsible for weighing in the first five jockeys after the race.

The Stipendary Stewards (or “Stipes” as they are often known) views the horses from the time they enter the parade ring. The team then watches and consults on all aspects of how the race is run.

The Chief “Stipe” on the day will review each race with the appointed Stewards of the meeting to see if any breaches of the rules took place and to hold any enquires if necessary. He is there to advise the Stewards of the Day. They have the aid of a film patrol camera from various angles to review the running of any of the races on the day.

The Stewards are themselves selected by The Turf Club for all for all race meetings held in Ireland. Two of the five stewards for any meeting will be drawn from the membership of The Turf Club or INHSC. A further two will be appointed by the committee of the race course involved. A fifth steward for each meeting comes from The Turf Club’s professional staff. He is there to advise the four Stewards on the day.

These Stewards are appointed to ensure that the rules of racing, both for flat and hurdles, are properly observed thus ensuring that the integrity and reputation of Irish racing is maintained.

Any decision of the Stewards at a race meeting is subject to appeal. The appeal may be heard by the Appeals Body sitting in two divisions, each comprised of three members. The first division being chaired by an Independent Chairman and the second division by a member appointed by the Stewards of the Governing Bodies. Depending on the case being heard the Independent Chairaman will decide which division shall hear the appeal.

The official Starter assumes control of all of the runners at the start of the race. It is his responsibility to ensure that the runners get away properly and to effect a fair start.

The Judge must occupy the judge's box at the time the horses pass the winning post and must report to the Clerk of the Scales the names and the number of the first five horses passed the post and the distance which separated them. He has the aid of photographic and digital images in the event of a close finish.

After each race the winning horse is dope tested by The Turf Club Veterinary Officer on the day. Any other horses nominated by the Stewards (eg well beaten favourites) will also be tested. Ireland is the only country worldwide where all winners are tested.