TIF Releases `Changing the Rules’

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Abel Tasman’s Connections Wait Out an Inquiry at Saratoga | Sarah K. Andrew photo

By Sue Finley

Clarity and consistency in the adjudication of North American racing is possible with a switch to the Category 1 philosophy, says a new white paper released by the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation. Changing The Rules, the 24-page white paper available for download here, discusses the two adjudication systems currently in place in the world; Category 1, which every country in the world uses with the exception of the U.S. and Canada, and Category 2, which is used in North America.

According to the definition from the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities, Category 2 jurisdictions are: “Countries whose Rules provide that if the interferer is guilty of causing interference and such interference has affected the result of the race then the interferer is placed behind the sufferer irrespective of whether the sufferer would have finished in front of the interferer had the incident(s) not occurred.”

In contrast, Category 1 jurisdictions are those where: “If, in the opinion of the Staging Authority’s relevant judicial body, a horse or its rider causes interference and finishes in front of the horse interfered with but irrespective of the incident(s) the sufferer would not have finished ahead of the horse causing the interference, the judge’s placings will remain unaltered.”

“This issue reaches across so many constituencies,” said TIF Executive Director Patrick Cummings. “Racing stakeholders in North America, and particularly horseplayers, yearn for a more consistent standard in race officiating. The stewards aren’t the problem, they are simply interpreting and enforcing an interference philosophy that, by its very nature, yields inconsistent outcomes.

“Our white paper presents a logical alternative to the current philosophy in place across North America. There is a path forward to adopt a new model rule which individual jurisdictions can accept, bringing an improved experience for the countless frustrated stakeholders of our great sport.”

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