Horse welfare is paramount ...

It's a bright but frosty morning

Monday, 24 March 2014

"There is no saint without a past, and no sinner without a future.

Shri Haidakhan Babaji.

Topamichi cantering on a frost morning

It’s a bright morning with plenty of sunshine but we have had a hard frost overnight and this makes for a glorious morning as there was the added bonus of no wind. It was quite quiet on Warren Hill which was a change. Everything has been out and had a canter either on the short polytracks on Warren Hill or the long polytracks on Long Hill. I am still very happy with the progress.

Walking by the triangle on Warren Hill

I see the Racing Post has an article once again on self-certification of non-runners and are calling for stiffer penalties for people who break the rules. The non-runner self-certification was brought in when the 48 hour declarations came into effect. This was supposedly to help the newspapers who printed the cards. All this has done is cause problems like we are getting now, with people accusing trainers of withdrawing horses for not the right reasons. There is a tiny minority of this that goes on and I agree should be looked into and the trainers spoken to, but this article is a non starter. As for the jockeys getting paid when the horses have not run, that is just a joke. This whole matter is common sense and if anybody abuses it, I agree, jump on them, but do not change the rule that is working well at present. This has all been caused by the rule 4 gambling cases which have occurred recently.


The case that should be publicised and is now getting it, especially in the Racing Post, is Steve Asmussen, the American trainer and his assistant, who were caught on camera by an animal rights group doing an undercover sting on them. Things have obviously gone on which are very detrimental to our sport and the publicity in America will be enormous. If these things are going on, and I would suspect they may be, especially the drugs, it must be stamped out immediately. The problem in America is that each state has its own laws and jurisdictions, all with different rules, so what is legal in one state, is not in another. It is a nightmare, when internationally you are trying to stamp out the most basic of drug use, like Lasix. This publicity might concentrate the minds of people that can do something to sort this matter out. Let’s hope it does so. There is no room at all in this industry for abuse.