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THE SUNSHINE COAST NEWSPAPER COLUMN - SETTING A CRITICAL TEMPERATURE WILL HELP DECIDE HEAT ISSUE

By Graham Potter | Sunday, November 23, 2014

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

The heat gauge is going to plague racing this summer.

Already last weekend we had adjusted race-times at Warwick and plenty of debate on how to proceed at the Sunshine Coast where the temperature topped 41 degrees before the start of the Sunday meeting.

This weekend Racing NSW brought their Hot Weather Policy into play … and so it will roll on during the coming summer months.

To put a perfect policy in place is almost impossible. The best anyone can hope for is a policy that finds the correct, honest, common-sense balance between the desire to race and the necessity to end proceedings when conditions warrant doing so.

Racing Queensland’s current Animal Welfare Policy provides a host of requirements to ensure the well-being of racehorses under extreme heat conditions. All are solid pointers which, if applied to the letter of the law, would serve that purpose admirably.

Simple things like horses stabled out of the sun, ensuring adequate wash bays are available, providing drinking water, having sponges, towels and extra water-hoses available, providing large bins continually stocked with bags of ice and water to help cool horses, minimising the time horses are required to parade … etc.

So let’s give that a big tick.

When horses go out to race though, all of that protection falls away … albeit only briefly … and it is then that protocol apparently gives way to opinion with, on the evidence of last Sunday’s procedure, no absolute prescribed dictate as to when it is actually safe to a go out and race or not.

Full article

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Graham Potter
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Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily which appears every Sunday. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily. They can be found on the relevant publish dates, going back every Sunday, under the blog section of the site.
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