As advised last week, a meeting of all starters nationwide was held recently, and from all reports was both well received, and worthwhile. The meeting was hosted by HRNZ’s Peter Jensen and Darrin Williams, who participated from an industry point of view, especially on what could be done to help starts and improve procedure.
Others present included Jay Abernethy and Jim Curtin, representing the Trainers & Drivers, along with Nick Ydgren and Shane Renault for the RIU. The following is a brief summary of matters discussed and/or protocols established:
* Procedure around formation of lines for standing starts.
* If horses are walking only, not pacing or trotting, and it will be a fair start, then the starter can let them go.
* False starts (standing), the tapes are to be hand held if the tape fails first time.
*No waiting for horses playing up if it is affecting others.
*Countdown minute calls with race-day control prior to starts.
* Succession planning for starters for the future
* Mobile starts – horses can stay on the gate for restart at the starters’ discretion.
It was further decided to move much of the procedures governing race starting from the Rules to the Regulations, so that if necessary, they can be altered faster, without having to go through the Annual Conference.