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8.22.2808    STARTER

(1) The starter shall give orders to secure a fair start. After reasonable efforts, if a horse cannot be led or backed into position, the starter shall order the horse to be scratched and notify the stewards. The start must not be delayed on account of a bad-mannered horse. When the stall gate is used, it shall be placed on the track at the discretion of the starter.

(2) The starter shall secure the stewards' approval on the order of loading horses in the starting gate.

(3) All races shall be started by a starting gate approved by the board, except that with permission of the stewards, a race may be started without a gate. When a race is started with or without a gate, there shall be no start until, and no recall after, the assistant starter has dropped the flag in answer to that of the starter.

(4) With the steward's approval, the starter shall approve and supervise assistant starters who have demonstrated they are adequately trained to safely handle horses in the starting gate. In emergency situations, the starter may appoint qualified individuals to act as substitute assistant starters, if the individuals are properly licensed as assistant starters by the board.

(5) The starter shall ensure that a sufficient number of assistant starters are available for each race, which shall include one assistant starter per horse in the race plus at least one assistant starter to shut the tailgates.

(6) The starter shall assign the starting gate stall positions to assistant starters and notify the assistant starters and the stewards of their stall positions no more than 30 minutes before post time for the first race. The assigned starting gate stall positions shall remain as assigned throughout the total duration of the day's races.

(7) Horses shall be schooled under the supervision of the starter or the assistants and the starter shall designate the horses to be placed on the schooling list, a copy of which shall be posted in the office of the racing secretary.

(8) The starter shall approve all first time starters before they are allowed to start.

(9) To ensure readiness and availability for emergencies or starting gate malfunctions, the starter shall remain at the starting gate location throughout the duration of the race day, except for reasonable comfort breaks. The starter shall report to the stewards any irregularities or disobedience to the starter's orders and the stewards shall deal with it accordingly.

(10) When a door of the starting gate fails to open as a starter dispatches the field because of faulty action or other causes, it shall be reported immediately to the stewards by the starter. The stewards shall post the inquiry sign and have the announcer alert the public to hold all mutuel tickets. The stewards shall then view the films to determine if the gate or gates failed to open when the starter dispatched the field and rule accordingly.

History: 23-4-202, MCA; IMP, 23-4-201, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; AMD, Eff. 5/4/74; AMD, Eff. 4/4/77; AMD, 1979 MAR p. 39, Eff. 1/26/79; AMD, 1980 MAR p. 1277, Eff. 4/25/80; TRANS, from Dept. of Prof. & Occup. Lic., Ch. 274, L. 1981, Eff. 7/1/81; AMD, 1985 MAR p. 272, Eff. 3/29/85; TRANS & AMD, from Dept. of Commerce, 2002 MAR p. 1500, Eff. 5/17/02; AMD, 2004 MAR p. 1327, Eff. 6/4/04; TRANS, from 32.28.608, 2015 MAR p. 2252, Eff. 12/25/15.

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