Crossbow Huntress finishing second at Louisiana
PICTURE: RP Graphics
By Bruce Jackson 7:00PM 13 AUG 2016
USA: A RIDE which caused uproar on social media has been cleared by stewards at Louisiana Downs as the jockey, who finished second despite remaining motionless throughout, was apparently suffering from heat exhaustion and illness.
The controversy over the ride by Kevin Smith on once-raced Crossbow Huntress rumbles on two weeks after the 5f race in which the 10-1 chance was beaten three parts of a length without Smith picking up his whip.
Social media exploded with condemnation of Smith’s ride and the lack of action from the stewards, who reported Smith had needed immediate medical attention in the 93f (34C) heat.
The stewards report said: “Following treatment Kevin Smith contacted the stewards. He reported that approaching the stretch run he developed symptoms similar to heat exhaustion including blurred vision, loss of balance and dizziness.”
The controversy took another twist when the stewards added a further report based on information received before Smith was cleared to take six rides the following day.
It read: “He was admitted to emergency care at Willis Knighton Medical Center in Bossier City, LA. His symptoms included upset stomach, vomiting, headache, dizziness and severe abdominal distress. Following extensive lab tests, x-rays and medical procedures, he was diagnosed with a type of diarrheal infection and disease.”
The stewards noted the attending medical doctor released him “to return to work with no restriction”.
Caroline Dodwell, the filly’s trainer, told the stewards she was happy with Smith’s ride but added to the furore when saying: “We need to reinstate schooling races that all the tracks used to have. We don’t have them any more.
“There’s no place to school these horses, like what happened to this filly, except in a real race. And that’s not right.”