Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 03-05-067.
Title of Rule: WAC 260-24-510 Stewards.
Purpose: Transfer the responsibility of setting the stewards period of authority from the commission to the executive secretary.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 67.16.040.
Summary: The responsibility to assign additional authority to the stewards is being transferred to the executive secretary.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: Improves efficiency in regulating horse racing.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Robert J. Lopez, Olympia, Washington, (360) 459-6462; Implementation and Enforcement: Robert M. Leichner, Olympia, Washington, (360) 459-6462.
Name of Proponent: Washington Horse Racing Commission, governmental.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The current rule anticipates the need to assign additional responsibilities to the stewards to regulate a meet when necessary. The proposed amendment transfers these responsibilities from the commission to the executive secretary.
Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Transfers authority to appoint stewards when necessity requires from the commission to the executive secretary.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The changes will not impose any costs upon businesses in the horse racing industry.
RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The rule is not subject to this section under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a).
Hearing Location: Auburn City Council Chambers, 25 West Main, Auburn, WA 98001, (253) 931-3041, on June 12, 2003, at 10:30 a.m.
Submit Written Comments to: Robert Leichner, Executive Secretary, Washington Horse Racing Commission, 6326 Martin Way, Suite 209, Olympia, WA, (360) 459-6462, fax (360) 459-6461, by June 11, 2003.
Date of Intended Adoption: June 12, 2003.
April 22, 2003
R. M. Leichner
(a) The stewards for each meeting shall be responsible to the commission for the conduct of the race meeting in accordance with these rules;
(b) The stewards shall enforce these rules and the racing laws of this jurisdiction;
(c) The stewards' authority includes supervision of all racing officials, track management, licensed personnel, other persons responsible for the conduct of racing, and patrons, as necessary to insure compliance with these rules;
(d) All nominations, entries, declarations and scratches shall be conducted under the supervision of the stewards;
(e) The stewards shall have authority to resolve conflicts or disputes related to racing and to discipline violators in accordance with the provisions of these rules;
(f) The stewards shall take notice of any questionable conduct with or without complaint thereof;
(g) The stewards have the authority to interpret the rules and to decide all questions of racing not specifically covered by the rules;
(h) Should any case occur which may not be covered by these rules of racing, it shall be determined by the stewards of the race meeting in conformity with justice and in the best interest of racing; and the stewards of the meeting are hereby given authority to exercise their full power, recommending to the commission the impositions of more severe penalties, if in their judgment the penalty should be more drastic.
(2) The stewards' period of authority shall commence 10
days prior to the beginning, or at such other time as is
necessary in the opinion of the ((
secretary, of each meeting and shall terminate with the
completion of their business pertaining to the meeting. One
of the three stewards shall be designated as the presiding
steward by the commission.
(3) Disciplinary action:
(a) The stewards shall take notice of alleged misconduct or rule violations and initiate investigations into such matters;
(b) The stewards shall have authority to charge any licensee with a violation of these rules, to conduct hearings and to impose disciplinary action in accordance with these rules;
(c) The stewards may compel the attendance of witnesses and the submission of documents or potential evidence related to any investigation or hearing;
(d) The stewards may at any time inspect license documents, registration papers and other documents related to racing;
(e) The stewards shall have the power to administer oaths and examine witnesses;
(f) The stewards shall consult with the official veterinarian to determine the nature and seriousness of a laboratory finding or an alleged medication violation;
(g) The stewards may impose any of the following penalties on a licensee for a violation of these rules;
(i) Issue a reprimand;
(ii) Assess a fine;
(iii) Require forfeiture or redistribution of purse or award, when specified by applicable rules;
(iv) Place a licensee on probation;
(v) Suspend a license or racing privileges;
(vi) Revoke a license; or
(vii) Exclude from grounds under the jurisdiction of the commission.
(h) The stewards may suspend a license for not more than one year per violation; or they may impose a fine not to exceed $2,500 per violation; or they may suspend and fine; or they may order that a person be ineligible for licensing. For violations covered by Chapter 260-70 WAC Medication, the stewards shall follow the penalty guidelines as set forth in WAC 260-70-690;
(i) A stewards' ruling shall not prevent the commission from imposing a more severe penalty;
(j) The stewards may refer any matter to the commission and may include recommendations for disposition. The absence of a stewards' referral shall not preclude commission action in any matter;
(k) Purses, prizes, awards and trophies shall be redistributed if the stewards or commission order a change in the official order of finish;
(l) All fines imposed by the stewards shall be paid to the commission within 48 hours after the ruling is issued, unless otherwise ordered.
(4) Protests, objections and complaints. The stewards shall cause an investigation to be conducted and shall render a decision in every protest, objection and complaint made to them. They shall maintain a record of all protests, objections and complaints. The stewards shall file daily with the commission a copy of each protest, objection or complaint and any related ruling. The stewards are vested with the power to determine the extent of disqualification in case of fouls. They may place the offending horse behind such horses as in their judgment it interfered with, or they may place it last.
(5) Stewards' presence:
(a) On each racing day at least one steward shall be on duty at the track from 3 hours prior to first race post time. The full board of stewards shall sit in regular session to exercise their authority and perform the duties imposed on them by the rules of racing;
(b) Three stewards shall be present in the stewards' stand during the running of each race. In case of emergency, the stewards may, during the meeting, appoint a substitute subject to the confirmation of the commission.
(6) Order of finish for parimutuel wagering:
(a) The stewards shall determine the official order of finish for each race in accordance with these rules of racing;
(b) The decision of the stewards as to the official order of finish, including the disqualification of a horse or horses as a result of any event occurring during the running of the race, shall be final for purposes of distribution of the parimutuel wagering pool.
(7) The stewards have the authority to cancel wagering on an individual betting interest or on an entire race and also have the authority to cancel a parimutuel pool for a race or races, if such action is necessary to protect the integrity of parimutuel wagering.
(8) Records and reports:
(a) The stewards shall prepare a daily report, detailing their actions and observations made during each day's race program. The report shall contain the name of the racetrack, the date, the weather and track conditions, claims, inquiries, objections and hearings and any unusual circumstances or conditions. The report shall be signed by each steward and be filed with the commission;
(b) Not later than seven days after the last day of a race meeting, the presiding steward shall submit to the commission a written report regarding the race meeting. The report shall contain:
(i) The stewards' observations and comments regarding the conduct of the race meeting, the overall conditions of the association grounds during the race meeting; and
(ii) Any recommendations for improvement by the association or action by the commission.
(9) Stewards' list:
(a) The stewards shall maintain a stewards' list of the horses which are ineligible to be entered in a race because of poor or inconsistent performance or behavior on the racetrack that may endanger the health or safety of other participants in racing;
(b) The stewards may place a horse on the stewards' list when there exists a question as to the exact identification or ownership of said horse;
(c) A horse which has been placed on the stewards' list because of inconsistent performance or behavior, may be removed from the stewards' list when, in the opinion of the stewards, the horse can satisfactorily perform competitively in a race without endangering the health or safety of other participants in racing;
(d) A horse which has been placed on the stewards' list because of questions as to the exact identification or ownership of said horse, may be removed from the stewards' list when, in the opinion of the stewards, proof of exact identification and/or ownership has been established.
(10) When the stewards feel that a rule, other than a rule of the race, has been violated by any person, the procedure shall be as follows:
(a) He or she shall be summoned to a hearing before the stewards, called for that purpose;
(b) Adequate notice of said hearing shall be given to the summoned party. The stewards' decision as to what is adequate notice shall be final;
(c) No penalty shall be imposed until such hearing;
(d) Nonappearance of the summoned party after adequate notice shall be construed as a waiver of right to hearing before the stewards;
(e) No special announcement of the hearing or of the alleged infraction of rules shall be made until after said hearing. Immediately after a hearing, provided the matter is settled, the stewards shall transmit their findings in a stewards ruling to the commission and to the party in question. Thereafter, if a penalty is imposed for the infraction of the rules but only in the case of penalty, the commission may make a public statement.
(11) Nothing in this rule shall prohibit the stewards from taking necessary action to prevent or avoid the immediate danger to the public health, safety or welfare or the integrity of racing.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 67.16.040. 98-01-145, § 260-24-510, filed 12/19/97, effective 1/19/98.]
Reviser's note: The typographical errors in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.