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 making an attempt, they’ll simply stop the sport. They received’t wager,” the 69-year-old Delahoussaye stated in a 30-minute phone interview Thursday from his residence in Lafayette, La. “These gamblers are going to go away, and we received’t have racing.
“There’ll come a degree, the individuals who gamble, they’ll suppose (riders) aren’t making an attempt or they’re possibly holding that horse, not giving him his finest shot, and subsequent factor you recognize 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 not use the stick greater than six instances 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 instances 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 beneath the shoulder degree of the jockey.
The New Jersey Racing Fee handed a good stricter rule earlier this 12 months, stating riders are prohibited from utilizing a whip “apart from causes of security.” The Jockeys’ Guild is interesting that rule within the state’s Superior Court docket, claiming the fee acted with out contemplating enter from jockeys on the affect it might have on the game.
Jockeys all through the nation are involved the brand new guidelines are a risk 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),” stated Delahoussaye, who received the Kentucky Derby with Gato Del Sol in 1982 and Sunny’s Halo in 1983 and retired in 2003 due to damage with 6,384 victories. “To me, (the brand new guidelines) don’t make sense. It’s harmful. These guys which can be 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 must be performed. You don’t let individuals who by no means rode a horse dictate the way it’s performed. That’s like telling a vet easy methods to do his job. Or inform a physician easy methods to do his job. Or inform a policeman, and also you’ve by no means performed it. I simply don’t get it.”
Delahoussaye says training, not reforms, is what’s wanted.
“Earlier than I received my license, I needed to get the gate starter to OK me, the stewards to have a look at me, the trainers to watch me, and the outrider to watch me earlier than I received my license,” he stated. “These days, anyone can get a license. They don’t try this anymore. It’s all modified. I believe they need to return to simplifying every little thing and educating. It’s worthwhile to educate, not simply do what they’re doing.”
Delahoussaye remembers within the early ’80s driving a horse at Santa Anita that had not raced shortly. The coach instructed him the horse would possibly 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 making an attempt.”
“I do know for the gamblers themselves, they need to see you making an attempt,” he stated. “On the time, the gamblers who wager on that horse, they noticed I wasn’t whipping him and I received fined. I used to be defending myself and the horse, however I wasn’t defending the gamblers.”
The person often called 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 higher 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 stated. “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 harm or crippled?
“It’s a harmful occupation, and if the riders weren’t complaining for his or her security, then I’d say fantastic. However they’re complaining, and I’ll let you know what, after I was driving I used to be glad to have the whip, whether or not I used it or not. It was a precaution.”
Throughout a time when the security of the horse and rider is of higher significance than ever earlier than, the jockeys, who put their lives on the road every time they climb aboard a horse, ought to have been entrance and heart when these new guidelines had been enacted.
Comply with Artwork Wilson on Twitter at @Sham73