Eddie Delahoussaye urges jockeys’ enter on horse racing guidelines

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Eddie Delahoussaye urges jockeys’ input on horse racing rules


No much less an authority than retired Corridor of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye says horse racing goes to place itself out of enterprise if it’s not cautious.

He claims regulatory boards in California and New Jersey are going to drive the gamblers away from the game with their new whip restrictions.

Horse racing can’t survive with out the bettors.

“These gamblers, in the event that they see you’re not attempting, they’ll simply give up the sport. They received’t wager,” the 69-year-old Delahoussaye mentioned in a 30-minute phone interview Thursday from his house in Lafayette, La. “These gamblers are going to depart, and we received’t have racing.

“There’ll come some extent, the individuals who gamble, they’ll assume (riders) aren’t attempting or they’re perhaps holding that horse, not giving him his finest shot, and subsequent factor you understand they’re going to go wager soccer, baseball and no matter else.”

The brand new rule in California, which took impact Oct. 1, led to three modifications:

• A jockey can’t use the stick greater than six occasions in a race, excluding displaying or waving the whip or tapping the horse on the shoulder.

• Riders can’t use the crop greater than two occasions in succession as a part of the six-time restrict with out giving the horse an opportunity to reply earlier than utilizing the whip once more.

• The crop have to be utilized in an underhanded place with the stick all the time at or under the shoulder degree of the jockey.

The New Jersey Racing Fee handed a good stricter rule earlier this yr, stating riders are prohibited from utilizing a whip “aside from causes of security.” The Jockeys’ Guild is interesting that rule within the state’s Superior Courtroom, claiming the fee acted with out contemplating enter from jockeys on the affect it may have on the game.

Jockeys all through the nation are involved the brand new guidelines are a menace to security for the riders and the horses.

“That stick is extra safety for (a rider) than it’s one thing for abusing (a horse),” mentioned Delahoussaye, who received the Kentucky Derby with Gato Del Sol in 1982 and Sunny’s Halo in 1983 and retired in 2003 due to harm with 6,384 victories. “To me, (the brand new guidelines) don’t make sense. It’s harmful. These guys which are making these guidelines, they by no means rode a horse of their lives.

“They need to have gotten the highest riders, skilled riders like Mike Smith and John Velazquez, and have a gathering and allow them to dictate the way it ought to be carried out. You don’t let individuals who by no means rode a horse dictate the way it’s carried out. That’s like telling a vet the right way to do his job. Or inform a health care provider the right way to do his job. Or inform a policeman, and also you’ve by no means carried out it. I simply don’t get it.”

Delahoussaye says training, not reforms, is what’s wanted.

“Earlier than I bought my license, I needed to get the gate starter to OK me, the stewards to take a look at me, the trainers to look at me, and the outrider to look at me earlier than I bought my license,” he mentioned. “These days, anyone can get a license. They don’t do this anymore. It’s all modified. I feel they need to return to simplifying every little thing and educating. You must educate, not simply do what they’re doing.”

Delahoussaye remembers within the early ’80s using a horse at Santa Anita that had not raced shortly. The coach instructed him the horse may get drained, to watch out within the stretch. So he by no means used his stick, the horse misplaced second by a nostril, he was fined $300 by the stewards and he took flak from the bettors for weeks afterward for “not attempting.”

“I do know for the gamblers themselves, they wish to see you attempting,” he mentioned. “On the time, the gamblers who wager on that horse, they noticed I wasn’t whipping him and I bought fined. I used to be defending myself and the horse, however I wasn’t defending the gamblers.”

The person often known as Eddie D. desires to see the riders protected, and he agrees with the overwhelming majority of jockeys that the brand new guidelines are placing horse and rider in better peril.

Keep in mind, it is a sport the place an ambulance follows the jockeys across the observe throughout a race.

“Let’s take into consideration security first,” Delahoussaye mentioned. “Workman’s comp, that doesn’t pay you for the remainder of your life. Will the racing fee compensate any of these riders for the remainder of their life in the event that they get damage or crippled?



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