WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Canada, July 27, 2022 - The Manitoba Jockey Club (M.J.C.), non-profit operators of Assiniboia Downs, today received the official determination (attached) of their regulator, the Liquor, Gaming & Cannabis Authority (L.G.C.A.) related to the race investigation request that was formally made by the M.J.C. about the running of Race 5 on July 20, 2022, specifically related to the actions of the jockey Sheldon Chickeness on horse #1 King Witt.
“I want to start by indicating from the outset that we understand and fully respect the right and responsibility that our regulator has to make the determination that they did related to this race. At the same time, I want to identify and recognize our right as the operator to respond to their findings and, to be clear, we strongly disagree with the conclusion they arrived at from this review, said Darren Dunn, CEO"
"Our interpretation of the race is that the horse, King Witt, to our understanding, may have previously exhibited tendencies in how he navigates the turn for home and the early stretch drive of the racetrack that caused the jockey to believe that with a potential repeat of those tendencies, the safety of the other horses and jockeys in the race were in jeopardy and that this was reflected in his actions, exhibiting his concern.
And, while we will always support and encourage efforts of jockey’s to be safe in the saddle for themselves, their fellow riders and the horses in the race, a distinction, in our opinion, should be made when these actions occur and then affect the possible and likely ultimate outcome of the race through an overreaction by a jockey. We believe, in our opinion, that jockey Sheldon Chickeness did over compensate in his handling of his mount, likely related to a safety concern, but given the clear lead the horse had at the time, he did affect, in our opinion, the final outcome of the race and the order of finish.
We believe that, while consideration and understanding could be given to his safety intent, overriding this was the need to protect the wagering public in ensuring the integrity of the race remained intact and that the over compensation by jockey Sheldon Chickeness should have been met with a determination of significant discipline against him.”
Media inquiries can be made to the L.G.C.A. via email at https://lgcamb.ca/media-inquiries/.
Assiniboia Downs racing continues Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights with first post at 7:30 pm (Central Time). The full schedule can be found at ASDowns.com.