It can be an interesting profession where you get to travel around the country, and potentially overseas as well.
A racing steward is a bit like being a police officer and detective. You are the one in charge of enforcing the rules of the track and the racing industry, and you also get to conduct investigations into anything controversial or suspicious.
If your ex-law enforcement or the prospect of enforcing rules and running investigations appeals to you, then the life of a racing steward could be right up your alley.
What Are the Main Roles of a Racing Steward?
A steward is basically in charge of the race track on race day. In Australia, racing rules can vary from state to state, but there are also national rules that need to be adhered to by all involved and all these rules (local and national) are up to the steward to enforce.
Of course, to be an effective steward, you must learn what all the rules are and stay abreast of any changes in the thoroughbred racing industry.
On race day the steward will be located in the steward’s stand where he or she can keep a keen eye on proceedings. If you see any obvious breach of the rules, it’s your job to take appropriate disciplinary action.
Sometimes a possible infraction may not be as obvious and will require some investigation to determine if any racing legalities have been breached.
In essence, you are like the referee of race day and you will travel from meet to meet each weekend, depending on where you’re required to be.
As a racing steward, you don’t need to be an expert in horses, but it is recommended that you learn as much as you can about them in order to perform your job more effectively.
As an example, a referee who officiates over a football game may not be a former player, but they will know just about all there is about the game and will live the sport. It helps tremendously with their job and it’s the same deal if you’re a racing steward.
You never know, if you do well you could find yourself officiating over the Melbourne Cup horses one day. That would be the pinnacle of a steward’s career in the Australian racing arena.
Some other key tasks that stewards perform include making sure the finishing race order is correct and no mistakes have been made. Once confirmed, and there are no protests, then payouts for wagers can be made.
And speaking of protests, that’s another of the steward’s tasks. If there is a protest at the end of the race, it’s up to the steward to review all the evidence and either uphold the protest or dismiss it.
Stewards will also inspect the stables, the jockeys and the horses, as well as deal with any complaints anyone has.
As you can see, it’s a job that holds a lot of responsibility, and you get to make some very important decisions.
The Attributes You Need To Become a Successful Racing Steward
Many experts believe that to be an effective steward, you have to love the industry, or learn to love the racing industry. The more passion you have, the better you’ll be at the job. It’s a lifestyle kind of job, so the more you immerse yourself in and enjoy the lifestyle, the better a steward you will likely be.
Discipline and fairness are two key attributes a professional racing steward needs to possess. Make fair and just decisions, then follow through with any disciplinary action that may be required.
Excellent communication and teamwork skills are also a requirement. As a steward, you are not the Lone Ranger out there. You have a team behind you that you work with all meet long.
Maintaining an even disposition amid stressful situations is also a must have the quality of an effective steward.
Having a background in racing can help launch your career, but you’ll also need some formal education before you can become a Cadet Steward. This includes Certificate III in Racing Services and possibly a Diploma of Racing Services.
The role of a racing steward can be a lucrative career choice.