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Old 07-19-2021, 12:36 PM   #1
mountainman
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Steward Supply Outpaces Demand

I can't think of a fellow official, or many horse trainers..jocks..agents..etc, that do NOT plan on pursuing a steward's position. The accreditation schools keep churning out candidates in ever-increasing numbers.

The obvious question that occurs closely mirrors my thinking on aspiring tv analysts: just where, in the world, do these ambitious legions even hope to find work??? The number of positions is sharply limited and will trend downward with the inevitable closing of certain venues. And that's not even accounting for the "social reckoning" almost sure to reach racing very soon, and thus accord preference to certain candidates.

My (well deserved) reputation as a degenerate/ scoundrel, of course, preceded me when I became an official long ago, thus I knew to never target a stewardship. There would have been talk.

And I've never regretted the alternative (downstairs) direction my career took. The construction of horseraces more interests me and better suits my abilities. But it does irritate me that many of these candidates have never worked 5 min as an official. That's like applying for the military with the stipulation you enter as a colonel, having no idea what the majors, captains and privates do.

Even worse, lots of these aspirants wrongly envision a steward's job as easy and largely ceremonial. The position requires a broad spectrum of knowledge and hard work.

Sadly (and unlike actual racing offices, most of which function as meritocracies-the racing sec and ast sec being by far the smartest people in the room) political connections factor heavily into the hiring of stewards. Or at least, traditionally, they have. Here's hoping that changes.

And here's wishing the best of luck in finding actual jobs to the hordes of candidates being rolled out from stewards school. They will need it.

Last edited by mountainman; 07-19-2021 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 07-19-2021, 03:41 PM   #2
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Maybe some getting the training were told that quite a few stewards would be retiring in the very near future ?

As far as the job being that hard or challenging I just donít see that but will take your word for it.

I do have a question somewhat related. If Midnight Bourbon did not clip heels and fall down do you think HRC would still be disqualified?

If In the BC Classic Race a horse fell down because of that Bayern scalp job would he have been disqualified ?

For the record I donít agree with either call in those races. HRC veering in was not that dramatic and if MB didnít clip or fall down I donít believe there would have been a DQ.

Bayern even though his infraction was out of the gate caused a very dramatic domino effect that obviously caused several horses a placement. Bad Call because if one of those horses fell down it would have been a DQ IMO.
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:41 PM   #3
v j stauffer
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Maybe some getting the training were told that quite a few stewards would be retiring in the very near future ?

As far as the job being that hard or challenging I just donít see that but will take your word for it.

I do have a question somewhat related. If Midnight Bourbon did not clip heels and fall down do you think HRC would still be disqualified?

If In the BC Classic Race a horse fell down because of that Bayern scalp job would he have been disqualified ?

For the record I donít agree with either call in those races. HRC veering in was not that dramatic and if MB didnít clip or fall down I donít believe there would have been a DQ.

Bayern even though his infraction was out of the gate caused a very dramatic domino effect that obviously caused several horses a placement. Bad Call because if one of those horses fell down it would have been a DQ IMO.
Did you ever see the NBC blimp shot of the Bayern start? Until I saw it I was 100% sure a DQ was warranted. Afterwards, much less so. If you get a chance to see it. I'd be interested in what you think?
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:50 PM   #4
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If In the BC Classic Race a horse fell down because of that Bayern scalp job would he have been disqualified ?

For the record I donít agree with either call in those races. HRC veering in was not that dramatic and if MB didnít clip or fall down I donít believe there would have been a DQ.

Bayern even though his infraction was out of the gate caused a very dramatic domino effect that obviously caused several horses a placement. Bad Call because if one of those horses fell down it would have been a DQ IMO.
Yes, if Bayern had knocked a horse down it's a DQ. It happens that knocking a horse down eliminates the single, highly persuasive argument for not DQ'ing horses at the start- that there's plenty of the time for the fouled horse to recover and get back in the race.
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Old 07-22-2021, 10:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by v j stauffer View Post
Did you ever see the NBC blimp shot of the Bayern start? Until I saw it I was 100% sure a DQ was warranted. Afterwards, much less so. If you get a chance to see it. I'd be interested in what you think?
The stewards weren't looking at the blimp shot, were they?
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Old 07-23-2021, 07:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mountainman View Post
I can't think of a fellow official, or many horse trainers..jocks..agents..etc, that do NOT plan on pursuing a steward's position. The accreditation schools keep churning out candidates in ever-increasing numbers...
Maybe they can get on with the new HISA bureaucracy and become super-regulators.
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Old 07-23-2021, 07:53 AM   #7
v j stauffer
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The stewards weren't looking at the blimp shot, were they?
I'm not sure. They may have had access to it on that day. Don't remember. Will be seeing two of the three that were in the stand that day next week at Del Mar. I'll find out. My gut feeling is it was available.
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Old 07-23-2021, 10:23 AM   #8
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Maybe they can get on with the new HISA bureaucracy and become super-regulators.
I know this was posted tongue-in-cheek. But I GUARANTEE that plenty of said wannabes (seriously) envision themselves appointed to such positions. These kind of dreamers have no patience or desire to become truly qualified. They are ego-driven and see themselves as special.

Last edited by mountainman; 07-23-2021 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 07-23-2021, 02:47 PM   #9
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You think this is bad, you should see all the people going to speed figure school for something that has like 15-20 positions in North America.
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Old 07-24-2021, 10:22 AM   #10
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You think this is bad, you should see all the people going to speed figure school for something that has like 15-20 positions in North America.
I'm curious. Do you get offers to "help" or "fill in" from those covetous of your job?

I get 5 a day. And the thought process never varies. I can literally read their ambitions from their words and expressions. First they sit in. Then by popular acclaim they become regular "guests." And before long, it's their show. That's how it plays out in their minds.

And some of them just never, ever, ever, quit petitioning, even plotting, to get on the show. There is not a player, owner, trainer, agent, or fellow official walking who doesn't think they could kill it.

Is it similar in your position?? Or do the wannabes at least realize highly specialized training and experience are required??

I get hounded by people who could not identify half the symbols in a set of pp's.
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Old 07-24-2021, 04:27 PM   #11
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I'm curious. Do you get offers to "help" or "fill in" from those covetous of your job?

I get 5 a day. And the thought process never varies. I can literally read their ambitions from their words and expressions. First they sit in. Then by popular acclaim they become regular "guests." And before long, it's their show. That's how it plays out in their minds.

And some of them just never, ever, ever, quit petitioning, even plotting, to get on the show. There is not a player, owner, trainer, agent, or fellow official walking who doesn't think they could kill it.

Is it similar in your position?? Or do the wannabes at least realize highly specialized training and experience are required??

I get hounded by people who could not identify half the symbols in a set of pp's.
I probably get a request a week. Unless my assistant quits, there are no openings. And if he quits I might too!
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:38 PM   #12
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I have always felt strongly that an ex-jockey should be among each steward's corps.
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Old 07-26-2021, 12:12 AM   #13
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I have always felt strongly that an ex-jockey should be among each steward's corps.
That's the traditional consensus in the industry. But fellow stewards often characterize ex-riders they work with as blindly accepting of whatever jocks say. Retirement doesn't break that bond.

Ex-athletes reluctant to criticize current players from behind the mic would serve as a similar example of kinship compromising objectivity.

Last edited by mountainman; 07-26-2021 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 07-26-2021, 12:06 PM   #14
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That's the traditional consensus in the industry. But fellow stewards often characterize ex-riders they work with as blindly accepting of whatever jocks say. Retirement doesn't break that bond.

Ex-athletes reluctant to criticize current players from behind the mic would serve as a similar example of kinship compromising objectivity.
We see it all the time in racing. ex-Jockeys and current trainers are on the Fox show and I can't remember the last time I heard any of them spew a negative about anything from someone in the same fraternity. We see it with announcers too, no announcer will criticize another one publicly. Privately is another matter.

Bettors, though? We can't wait to rip each other apart.
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Old 07-26-2021, 12:43 PM   #15
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We see it all the time in racing. ex-Jockeys and current trainers are on the Fox show and I can't remember the last time I heard any of them spew a negative about anything from someone in the same fraternity. We see it with announcers too, no announcer will criticize another one publicly. Privately is another matter.

Bettors, though? We can't wait to rip each other apart.
I find it very bad form to criticize another horse player, and it kinda grinds my gears when I see it happen.
Besides, I have no room to talk...have you seen my picks lately? Oof...
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