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Stewards overseee all aspects of horse racing and wagering with the sport to ensure that the regulations and guidelines are adhered to.

Stewards are fundamentally responsible for conducting race meetings and ensuring that the Australian Rules of Racing are adhered to. Being a Steward involves a wide number of duties in order to properly control and regulate racing. Outside of race day stewards may conduct Future Growth Very Strong administrative tasks such as checking the bonafides of ownership and stable returns, approving horses for barrier certificates, overlooking track work and conducting random stable inspections and swabbing. Stewards are employed by the Principle Racing Authority of each State and all Stewards start as a Cadet Steward. In order to become a steward your past records will be thoroughly examined and you must be a person of high integrity.

Often likened to the police of the racecourse, Stewards are well respected members of the racing industry who maintain the integrity of race day operations.

ANZSCO ID: 452318

Knowledge, skills and attributes   

To be a Steward, you must have good communication and teamwork skills because you will often be working in a team when at the races. Being able to communicate effectively is also of upmost importance because not only will you be talking to people often, but it will also be in tense situations such as during an inquiry or hearing.

Another important trait for stewards is to be able to stay focused and calm in stressful situations when you are dealing with angry horsemen or even racegoers. You must also be able to objectively analyse any information brought to you and be able to recognize any wagering trends that could be suspicious.

It requires knowledge of rules relating to licensed personnel, permit holders and others authorised to undertake work on racecourses and racing training establishments, as well as knowledge of the rules of racing related to the gear worn by racing animals and the animals' health, fitness and suitability to race.

  • Intelligence management, informer management, management of complex and serious investigations, conduct of investigations, statement and note taking, and interviewing skills.

  • Ability to collect statements and legal requirements and undertake brief preparation, evidence gathering and advocacy, including the conduct of 'mock' hearings for attendees to hone their skills.

  • Knowledge of and ability to apply the rules of racing, Racing Analytical Services Ltd operations, drug control, surveillance and operation orders.

  • Skills relating to integrity in sport, racing integrity, communication and leadership.

  • Ability to use a range of technology to review standards.

Ray Murrihy
Chief Steward Ray Murrihy [NSW] looks on at a race from his tower at Randwick
(Source: HeraldSun)

Duties and Tasks

Stewards are much like referees, travelling to a race meeting to make sure rules of racing are followed and investigating any possible infractions. In addition to that task, stewards also make sure the order of finish for races is correct, inspect stables and jockeys’ rooms and handle any complaints owners or trainers may have.

Another task Stewards have is making sure legal equipment is used on horses and that it is declared. You may also be required to question trainers about their horses if the horses don’t run up to par to make sure a horse’s bad run wasn’t by design and rules are being followed to protect both horsemen and bettors.

Working conditions

Just like other careers in the horse racing industry, you must be willing to make the sport your lifestyle and not just a nine to five job. You may have to attend morning trials or evening race meets and be prepared to work weekends and long nights depending on your duties and the racing schedule.

However, if you are willing to put in the effort, you may get the opportunity to not only travel to different states and tracks in Australia but also around the world.

“You are really making a lifestyle choice as well as a career choice,” former Racing NSW Deputy Chairman of Stewards Greg Rudolph said. “There are very good opportunities in a career in racing that can take you around the world. Working in racing and as a steward can open doors up to other jurisdictions, whether to Australian or overseas.” (Source: TBIndustry)

 

Education and training/entrance requirements

While there is no requirement to have practical knowledge of horses, former Racing NSW Deputy Chairman of Stewards Greg Rudolph recommends it.

“You have to be dedicated and disciplined in your approach,” he explained. “I always found that practical experience with horses or growing up with horses is an advantage even if it is a farm or stud background. Desire is the practical element people need to have. You also have high integrity standards to uphold rules or racing an want to aspire to fairness in decision making. This is very much a lifestyle and you have to have a love of the animal and desire to see that racing is run fairly and cleanly.”
(Source: TBIndustry)

Qualifications to become a steward include a Certificate III in Racing Services (Cadet Steward) and/or Diploma of Racing Services (Steward). Many people becoming stewards also have some form of tertiary education, mainly related to equine management in addition to the practical experience that comes from working with horses in some form or another and being familiar with racing.


“The formative years of cadetship are quite tough as they are paid an apprenticeship wage, starting out at $50,000 per year,” said Rudolph. “While that can be challenging, it is easier once you move up in rank. Once you move into the senior ranks, it becomes a package with a car and phone package as well as a six figure salary. The higher positions are well paid, but you have to work your way up the ladder.” (Source: TBIndustry)

All stewards are appointed under the rules of racing by the relevant racing controlling body.

 

Did You Know?


Day in the Life of a Stipendiary Steward - British Horseracing Authority [BHA] - UK
28 October 2016



"The role of a stipendiary steward on the racecourse is to ensure that the rules of racing are adhered to and enforced throughout the day. With such a wide array of rules this can be quite a big job on occasions! There are generally two stipendiary stewards at each meeting, although there are often three for the premier meetings. There are also usually two racecourse stewards in attendance, a chairperson and a ‘winger’ who form two out of three people on a panel for stewards’ enquiries. Also present in the steward’s room is a steward’s secretary whose role is to provide the administrative function for the steward’s room, producing reports for the BHA website amongst other things.

We aim to arrive on course around 2 ½ – 3 hours before the first race. This gives us a chance to go through the card, including non-runners, form, any previous notes that we have on the horses running, the betting and any market movers. The stipendiary stewards will discuss any issues that are likely to come to the fore throughout the day so that they are then able to liaise with the racecourse stewards about the plan for the day at the raceday team briefing, held an hour and ten minutes prior to the first race. Being on track early also allows us to be present if yard staff, riders or trainers need to talk to us regarding obtaining any privileges such as going to the start early or wearing a hood during the preliminaries.


BHA
Anna-Louise Powell, stipendiary steward for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), blogs about the work that goes in behind the scenes at a racecourse as the stipendiary stewards prepare for a day of racing.

Having a raceday team briefing seventy minutes before the first race allows the clerk of the scales, starters, judge, veterinary officer (VO), equine welfare and integrity officers (EWIOs), and stewarding team to get together before racing and discuss any potential issues. The veterinary officer might tell us of any welfare issues or problems with passports, for example vaccination errors, which will then be passed over to the stewards who will discuss the further action to be taken. Starters will inform us of any horses that have been previously reported for being difficult at the start so that everybody is prepared and the clerk of the scales will inform the team of any non-runners, jockey changes or colour changes. We then have around an hour before the first race to deal with anything that has come up early in the day.

Prior to racing we also make contact with the Integrity Team within the BHA to discuss any integrity issues that may be relevant to the days racing and also to discuss any significant market movers so far. They are also on hand throughout the day and watch the racing from London to ensure that there are no integrity concerns. Occasionally we may have to act on concerns that they have throughout the day.

When racing begins, we will always endeavour to be in the parade ring to see the horses and check that all horses and riders are on time both entering and leaving the parade ring to ensure that races run punctually. Usually one stipendiary and one racecourse steward will watch the race from a side on or head on box, depending on the racecourse, and the other two will watch from the stewards’ room where there are four screens covering all views of the field. We watch the race live and then review the recording a number of times together to ensure that no riding offence took place.

If an enquiry is required we will gather the parties involved, be it trainers, stable staff, jockeys or other officials and convene at the stewards’ room to provide everybody with the chance to give their evidence; an opportunity for all parties involved to provide any further information which might not be apparent from the video footage. The Stipendiary asks the relevant questions, leads the enquiry and advises the rest of the panel on the appropriate course of action whether that is that no further action should be taken, a fine, a suspension or that the matter ought to be forwarded to the head office of the BHA for further consideration by our colleagues there. The panel members will then make a joint decision.

Today at Wetherby was fairly quiet with just one enquiry after the sixth race in which the stewards suspended the winning rider for two days for using his whip above the permitted level. These kind of enquiries are usually fairly uncomplicated and the stewards apply their discretion when looking at the overall picture for this type of offence to agree on the appropriate penalty, including the number of times the whip was used, but also other factors such as whether the horse was given time to respond, the force with which the whip was used, how far apart the uses were, whether the horse was clearly winning, and so on.

We publish notices of every stewards enquiry on the BHA website as soon as possible after the enquiry has taken place. We have worked hard in recent years to increase the quality of these enquiry notices by adding more detail in order that readers get a clear picture of the issues that have taken place, and the reasoning behind any decisions taken.

Throughout the day we also take reports from trainers, their representatives or riders to publish on the BHA website and to be sent back to Weatherbys to inform the public on anything that may have affected a horse’s performance for that particular run; these are not uncommon. We also conduct enquiries to ascertain reasons for any apparent improvement in form of horses that win on a given day having run poorly last time with no obvious reason why. We keep regular contact with other BHA and racecourse officials throughout the day to ensure that all of this relevant information is fed back to the steward’s secretary who inputs all of the data onto a specially designed system so that it is ultimately relayed accurately to the betting public."

(Source: British Horse Racing)

Steward of Racing

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Judge

Personal Assistant

Corporate Trainer

Lawyer

Marketing Officer

Management Consultant

Officer Administrator

Interpreter

Private Investigator

Security Consultant

Receptionist

Sports Administrator

Call Centre Operator

Marketing Research Analyst

Hospital Administrator

Medical Administrator

Nurse Manager

Sports Centre Manager

Steward of Racing

Bookmaker

Child Care Centre Manager

Judge

Personal Assistant

Corporate Trainer

Lawyer

Marketing Officer

Management Consultant

Officer Administrator

Interpreter

Private Investigator

Security Consultant

Receptionist

Sports Administrator

Call Centre Operator

Marketing Research Analyst

Hospital Administrator

Medical Administrator

Nurse Manager

Sports Centre Manager

Steward of Racing

Bookmaker

Child Care Centre Manager

Judge

Personal Assistant

Corporate Trainer

Lawyer

Marketing Officer

Management Consultant

Officer Administrator

Interpreter

Private Investigator

Security Consultant

Receptionist

Sports Administrator

Call Centre Operator

Marketing Research Analyst

Hospital Administrator

Medical Administrator

Nurse Manager

Sports Centre Manager

Steward of Racing

Bookmaker

Child Care Centre Manager

Judge

Personal Assistant

Corporate Trainer

Lawyer

Marketing Officer

Management Consultant

Officer Administrator

Interpreter

Private Investigator

Security Consultant

Receptionist

Sports Administrator

Call Centre Operator

Marketing Research Analyst

Hospital Administrator

Medical Administrator

Nurse Manager

Sports Centre Manager

Steward of Racing