12/05/2014 3:36PM

Kentucky Racing Commission fights ruling requiring Veitch to be rehired


The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Friday asked a judge to stay a ruling that would require the commission to reinstate its former chief state steward, John Veitch, and additionally filed a notice that it intended to appeal the ruling.

The filings argued that a reinstatement of Veitch would cause “irreparable harm” to the commission and its current chief state steward, Barbara Borden, who was appointed shortly after Veitch was fired in November 2011.

“Reinstating petitioner would disrupt the status quo of the last three years and remove Ms. Borden from her position, causing immediate irreparable harm to both the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Ms. Borden,” states the motion, filed in Franklin Circuit Court.

The motion also states that Veitch is not currently licensed to work as a steward.

Last Friday, a circuit court judge ruled that Vetch was improperly fired by the Public Protection Cabinet, which oversees the racing commission. The judge, Thomas Wingate, instead stated that any decision to fire Veitch had to be made explicitly by the racing commission.

The ruling was the latest chapter in a four-year legal saga with a handful of twists and turns.

Veitch was fired several months prior to the release of a report examining an incident at the 2010 Breeders’ Cup involving the filly Life At Ten. The report claimed that Veitch should have asked veterinarians to examine Life At Ten after her jockey, John Velazquez, said in a televised interview approximately five minutes to post of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff that the filly “was not warming up like she normally does.” She finished last in the race, without urging from Velazquez.

At the report’s recommendation, the commission suspended Veitch for one year at the beginning of 2012 even though he had already been fired. After receiving a license in 2013, Veitch has since worked as a minor racing official at Keeneland.

Dennis Fisher More than 1 year ago
Churchiil Downs and the Kentucky Horse racing commission are hiding something from the people, John Veitch is not a yes Sir no Sir type of Steward, he knows right from wrong but Churchill Downs need puppets Stewards and officails as they continue to steal the hrad earned monies from the general horseracing public/taxpayers via their United Tote and MID Group Am Tote ways of deliberate cheating
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
Bewitch sets up the Kentucky derby to be the demolition derby. He could dare less about the safety of horses.
james More than 1 year ago
I agree that Veitch appears to have been scapegoated. Either that, or he was already an unpopular figure and they used this event as cause. I recall him as having somewhat of a prickly personality and I could imagine him having political enemies. I just re-read a great article written by Marcus Hersh on 10/20/2011. It illuminates how these things work behind the scenes and what might have happened in the Life At Ten case. To put all the blame on Veitch and fire him for this situation was a travesty.
John Holcomb More than 1 year ago
Second choice horse looks and acts dull and finishes up the track? That's not a scandal, that's horse racing! It happens every day at tracks all over the world, and nobody thinks a thing of it. There must be a backstory here that we are not getting.
john g More than 1 year ago
They used Veitch as a scapegoat.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Racing has bigger problems than this.WAKE UP.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Earlier today 12/5/14 on HRTV, Gary Stevens told the Hosts of the show ( 0ver the phone ) that Point Given wasn't himself warming up in post parade for the 2001 Kentucky Derby, he finished fifth in that race.
Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
In many places it's awfully tough to get a Judge to overturn another Judges' decision.