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Tetrick On Kick Controversy

Published: February 16, 2014 10:31 am ET

Last Comment: February 23, 2014 12:06 am ET | 10 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

"My theory on that is it's not really kicking. Like you said, it's nudging or urging -- one way or the other."

During Friday's In The Sulky pre-race card show from the Meadowlands Racetrack, driver Tim Tetrick was asked about "kicking" a horse by The Meadowlands' Sam McKee. Tetrick was one of two drivers fined for using his foot to urge a horse last year at The Red Mile -- the other being Brian Sears while driving Vegas Vacation -- during Grand Circuit racing.

Tetrick clarifies that the action is not a kick but merely a brush of the foot to the horse's hock and "it definitely does not hurt the animal."

"At the time, everybody's trying to urge them and make a great race...instead of everybody talking about the 'kicking' in that race I think we should have seen how two great champion three-year-olds were fighting it out down the lane. 'Captain' was passed at the seven-eighths, he fought back and fought that other horse off. Was it the 'kicking' or not, or the nudging? He just fought in and did what he had to do."

Tetrick also talks about his second hip replacement, going to the Elitlopp with Market Share, the configuration of the New Meadowlands race surface and the renovations to the track's amenities.

February 23, 2014 - 12:06 amAll bike development in the

sal digati SAID...

All bike development in the horse racing industry has for years been trying to replicate the best bike design EVER to be attached to a horse the Cheetah, no contact with legs or feet in that bike. There is no reason these new bikes can't have the stirrup on the out side of the shaft DUH. If the drivers KNEE DOESNT BEND it is NOT KICKING plain and simple. This rule hasn't been changed since it's inception decades ago when the bikes unaerodynamic design made it look like a driver was trying to punt a football if he attempted to kick the horse. If the driver has his foot out of the stirrup give him three days off. Makes sence and reasonable for all.

February 22, 2014 - 10:45 pmWell, Mr Smith, I am an owner

Well, Mr Smith, I am an owner and we have publicly stated that no driver is to kick or one hand whip any of our horses. And if they do not win the race then so be it.

February 18, 2014 - 5:25 pmwhen it comes down to a photo

jacob smith SAID...

when it comes down to a photo and the difference between first and second is some yelling, a few hits with the whip and a couple of kicks i think it is safe to say that all you humanitarians will change your stance. there are thousands of dollars on the line with each and every raceā€¦ and for a guy like tetrick, even hundreds of thousands in some races. it is easy to talk a big game, but the reality is that the majority of the naysayers would look past it if they owned the captain and he was in a photo finish at the red mile.

please, prove me otherwise. write an article, file a complaint, or even take him off your horse when your driver uses such a strategy.

February 18, 2014 - 11:39 amGo back to the stirrup type

Go back to the stirrup type foot rest and the issue goes away.

February 17, 2014 - 10:39 amWelcome back Timmy and good

Welcome back Timmy and good luck in the coming year.

February 17, 2014 - 10:24 amI consulted with a very

Lynne Magee SAID...

I consulted with a very accomplished equine professional at the University of Guelph about this so-called "nudging" of the hock. The answer was that what may start out as a "nudge" by the driver's foot is compounded many times over by the speed at which the hock is hitting the hard-soled boot. There are several small bones that make up the hock and not much more than skin covering this delicate and vulnerable joint---similar to your elbow, knee and ankle. Any impact on those joints can cause a significant amount of pain and even damage. Any damage in the hock is a serious situation. If you look at Tim's foot as he nears the finish line with Captain Treacherous at the Red Mile, his boot makes good contact with the horse's hock about 8 times. Between the "nudge" that he is giving and the force coming from the horse itself, it would appear that this action is enough to cause a significant pain and possible damage.

February 17, 2014 - 7:23 amTetrick, Sears and anyone

Sean DeMarco SAID...

Tetrick, Sears and anyone that does this are wrong. Seriously don't try to justify this. A mere brush to the horse's hock was not something I thought would be legal and look you were fined so again stop trying to justify what you did.

February 16, 2014 - 10:07 pmSave a thought for Walter

Save a thought for Walter Case and what "kicking/urging" cost him compared to others!!

February 16, 2014 - 8:12 pmclass act and does not beat

class act and does not beat around the bush

February 16, 2014 - 3:21 pmFrom across the pond. It is

From across the pond.
It is unfortunate that the horse cannot kick back when their hocks are 'brushed' by Mr Tetrick or any other driver for that matter!
In the day when drivers O'Brien, Haughton, Dancer etc, etc, could be seen driving the horse with their hands and feeling are long gone.
If the horse has got the class to win then they will do it in an inherited manner, not by the OTT urging from a, perhaps a CASH in mind driver.

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