I recently spent an afternoon sat in front of the TV watching ITV Racing, and one thing that did quite surprise me is that they chose to broadcast a Stewards Enquiry live from the Stewards Room.
Now I am aware in this day and age racing especially has to do everything possible to present its clean image to the public at large, however that did pose the question to me as to whether broadcasting a Stewards Enquiry live on national TV was actually fair to the jockeys.
I say that for when I sat listening to both of the two jockeys who had been called before the Stewards, I did form an opinion that one of them was trying it on with those Stewards in by giving you own, and in my opinion farfetched story as to why his mount should be awarded the race and not that of the first horse to pass the post!
The other jockey did put up a fair and honest defence as to the reason his horse did bump the other one in the dying stages of the race, and as it happens the result did stand, but surely a Stewards Enquiry should be a private affair between the jockeys and the Stewards much like a court case is within the UK?
What is a Stewards Enquiry?
Each race that is run in the UK will have a team of Stewards at the racecourse who are tasked with closely monitoring that race, to ensure it is run legally and to the rules of racing.
If at any time before, during and after a race something happens that falls foul or the rules of racing or may have done then those Stewards will call a Stewards Enquiry during which they will determine whether any rules have been broken and will decide on the spot, after a quick investigation what if any action to take.
What Powers do Stewards Have?
As far as policing the races held at any racecourse, the Stewards have a lot of power, and at any time after the running of a race they can call an Enquiry and by doing so the result of the race will be suspended until such a time that they have concluded their investigation.
Take for example when two or more horses may bump each other in a race, if such a thing happens then the Stewards can call an Enquiry and they will then review the race second by second where the bumping took place, and can and will call all of the jockeys involved in that incident into the Stewards Room and will ask for their opinion of the incident.
Stewards can reverse the result of a race, disqualify horse form any position in a race, and they can also ban jockeys for short periods of time and also find them too if their action are deemed serious enough to warrant such action, but in most cases there will be no action after a Stewards Enquiry.