Zero-Tolerance Against Domestic Abuse in Horse Racing (Part II)


Posted: May 15, 2015

Updated: October 6, 2017

Authorities of horseracing will not accept any kind of criminal behaviour.

The first part of the article recapped how Nascar handled Kurt Busch’s domestic violence case and how it differed from the NFL’s approach on Ray Rice’s charges. However the main point was the California Horse Racing Board’s announcement to state they will not tolarate domestic violence and are wiling to take nesecary measures.

• Albarado faced much controversy
• Racing in the US requires great effort
• Horseracing tends to be tight-knit group

In 2010 Robby Albarado’s domestic violance case was one of the firsts that has occured in the horseracing world. He is the rider of Curlin who won the Horse of the Year title two times and is an all time favorite of online sportsbooks in the US. The case got huge media attention and helped Albarado to an unvanted national fame. Just about a year later he was charged with fourth-degree assault and the same domestic violance as he has been the first time. The victim his then-wife, was left with several serous strangulation mark around her throat.

The Albarado cases

Albarado Sitting in Court
However after the second incident the charges were dropped soon and Albarado was alowed to race in Kentucky. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commision (KHRC) gave him another shot but stated that he must keep his record clean. Despite his career at risk Albarado was involved in another domestic violance case in the following year on May 4th. His license was suspended for and uncertain lenght of time until the issue was tackled by the authorities. He managed to get allowance to race at the Arlington Park show in June, in return for agreeing to regulary attend alcohol and anger management classes.

Couton’s arrest was not folowed by the same amount of hassle since he is not as famous as a jockey as Albarado is. The 34 years old rider came into suspicion for abusing his girlfriend at the time. The CHRB suspended his license right away, banning him from attending any races as well as from gettin a job anywhere in the United States. “I think the CHRB have gone about handling the situation in the right way,” Couton told gambling news after a hearing in April. “I understand that they had to take this process.”

Opinions differ on how to tackle the issues

To get a license to race in the States you have to pass a certain test of fitness, criminal history and character. “While each licensee has the right to due process, it is fair to say that a charge of domestic abuse would absolutely call into question the general fitness and character of an individual, and if proven, would likely result in action being taken against a license,” the spokesperson wrote. The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) has criticized the actions of Nascar when Busch’s was permitted to participate in competitions, since charges not being field against him, does not mean he did not commit the crime.

The vice president of Programs and Emerging Issues stated that they don’t believe in too harsh actions either. “From our position, we are not encouraging sporting organizations to go with an absolute zero-tolerance policy because in some cases, they often have partners who may be economically dependent on that person. So, to completely take their entire livelihood away for a life time, you’re going to hurt the whole family,” stated Rene Renick.

Horse racing is a close community

The difference between the NFL and the horseracing incidents is not only in how much those who enjoy to bet on sports in the US like them but how it affects the community. While NFL is a game of billions they are not too closely involved, on the other hand horse tracks are a small family where it is much more present if someone gets charged with domestic abuse or criminal charges of any kind.

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