Only in America this one.
On 1 November, champion British jockey William Buick went to Santa Anita to have a ride in the Breeders’ Cup meet.
Buick went there, to Santa Anita where 31 horses have died over the past year. Where another broke down as they turned for home in the last race of this carnival, and it too was put down.
At Santa Anita where no uniform rules yet in regards to Category 1 stewards Rules of Racing have been established.
At Santa Anita where Lasix is still considered OK to administer. Where, let’s face it, not just the California politicians, but PETA and all manner of non-racing people watching on, are mounting an army for a war Santa Anita will lose. The war on horse safety. Horse cruelty, where the Court Of public Opinion is getting so loud, it will overtake all the goodness Santa Anita has produced over the years.
Yes, Santa Anita where William Buick chose to ride just days before heading to Melbourne for a Melbourne Cup ride.
He was talking to the trainer of his mount, DAAHYED, when the call came to mount. Buick was the last to mount, 45seconds or so behind the other boys.
But that slow off the mark cost him.
He was fined by the stewards for ‘being late to be legged up.’
The steward’s, in their post-race meeting report that was written to defend their actions, said, ‘It caused an unsafe situation in the walking ring outside the saddling barn.’
The filly ran 2nd in her race.
Buick, a world class jockey of impeccable standing within the international jockey ranks was fined US$100.
What, on God’s Green Earth, was this fine meant to achieve?
He’s a world class rider, who is bringing acclaim to the meeting simply by being there – yet gets fined for going out onto the track out of order.
It’s just US stewards once again getting things wrong.