A couple of weeks ago, horse trainer Ivan Furtado pulled out a horse switcheroo at Southwell races. Unfortunately for him, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) caught him red-handed, fined him £2.000, and disqualified his horses.
You see, Ivan, purposely or not, sent two of his horses (African Trader and Scribner Creek) to the wrong races. Both horses were scheduled to compete for the first time on that day, January 17th. But somehow they ended up in each other’s race. Scribner Creek finished his race in the third place and African Trader in the seventh.
This situation is unacceptable on so many levels. First, the BHA’s reputation is on the line. When these mistakes happen despite having the new horse scanning system, many people start to question why is it there in the first place. On the other hand, having one horse name displayed in betting apps and sites, and another one doing the actual race literally swindles people out of their money.
So, what is that new scanning system?
The new scanning system has been in use since the last year’s incident. Similarly, horse trainer Charlie McBride saddled the wrong horse for a race at Yarmouth. However, in this situation, the wrong horse ended up winning the race, creating an even bigger scandal. McBride received a £1.500 punishment and a ban on his horses.
Furtado didn’t say anything about this incident. However, the BHA issued a statement, in which they defended their scanning system, and accredited the mistake to human error.
The BHA representative said, “The fact that we failed to correctly identify horses on the racecourse was as a result of human error and not a technological fault. Where appropriate, we will take steps internally to address the performance-related issues that arise from these errors.”
Regardless if Ivan did this on purpose or not, the punishment was appropriate. Just so no one else tries this stuff in the future.