Some of the best thoroughbred horse racing in the world takes place in Australia. A big part of the success of Australian racing can be credited to the Australian racing board. This governing body is responsible for all aspects of horse racing Down Under. It oversees race meets, race conditions, and insures a fair experience for the bettor.
About the Australian Racing Board
The Australian Racing Board is a fairly new entity that was established in 1998. It sanctions and oversees all thoroughbred racing in Australia, providing oversight and stewardship of each racecourse on the continent. The board is now entering its 21st year of supervising horse racing in Australia. It is responsible for the enforcement of the Australian Rules of Racing throughout all racing jurisdictions.
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While the Australian Racing Board serves as the primary governing body, it also establishes Principal Racing Authorities in local jurisdictions. These authorities are able to function independently and govern their own race meets, but they adhere to the general bylaws of the Australian Racing Board. This helps to ease the burden of management while providing a uniform standard of racing.
The Principal Racing Authorities of Australian horse racing include Racing Victoria Limited and the Darwin Turf Club.
Principle Duties of the Australian Racing Board
It is the express duty of the Australian Racing Board to provide a horse racing product in Australia that is fair to all parties involved. To accomplish this the ARB installs stewards, veterinarians, and other track officials at all racecourses. These individuals answer to the ARB in all matters related to the Australian Rules of Racing. By doing this the horsemen in the country can expect the same set of standards from one racecourse to another.
The ARB is also actively involved in the management of the Australian Stud Book. This book is the definitive record for all horses that are bred in Australia. It helps to preserve the integrity of the thoroughbred breed. As of 2014 the ARB has merged with the Australian Stud Book to create Racing Australia. This organization encompasses all aspects of racing on the continent.
Another function of the ARB is to create a Racing Appeals Tribunal when there are disputes to be resolved. The tribunal is empowered to make decisions on behalf of the Australian Racing Board, and members of the racing industry are required to abide by those decisions. Tribunals are generally composed of individuals that have no specific connection to the sport of horse racing in an effort to preserve fairness.
Why Does Horse Racing Need a Governing Body?
In recent years the US has come under fire for its management of horse racing on a national level. Some believe that the nation would be benefitted by accepting the model that has been presented by the Australian Racing Board. Many believe that the lack of a central governing body in racing opens the door to many types of problems.
In the US model there is no central governing authority for horse racing. Each state has its own racing commission, and the stewards at tracks in that state are only required to answer to state officials. This can sometimes create disparity between one racing jurisdiction and another. This is especially true when it comes to upholding racing suspensions that have been levied in one state against a trainer, owner, or jockey. Without a central racing authority like the Australian Racing Board the suspended participant can simply move to another racing circuit where they will be accepted.
Another area that would benefit from a central racing authority is the general welfare of horses. The Australian Racing Board has taken great measures to protect the horses that compete on its race tracks. Some people would contend that this devotion to animal welfare is sorely lacking in the United States. Horses on American tracks have been abused in some cases, and the use of illegal medications is rampant.
In Australia race horses are revered to an extent that they aren’t in other jurisdictions. The animals are considered a sports celebrity in their own right, with many racing rans coming out to see the horses themselves as opposed to the trainers and jockeys.
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- The Melbourne Cup – Australias’s Biggest Horse Race
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