There are many people behind the scenes at any race track that are necessary for each and every horse race.  But the one that always seems to be forgotten is the assistant starters.  These people are in charge of loading the horses into the gate.  On paper the job itself looks easy.  Horses come to the gate and get loaded right in and are set to begin, but in reality it`s never that simple.  Many times horses aren`t willing to go in the gate, and need some help.  Personally I don`t blame them, imagine having a person on your back, being put into a big metal gate, hearing a loud noise and then being expected to run around a big oval with thousands of people screaming, cheering, and yelling at you to run faster.  So that is where they come in, to help the horse go in and for everything to go smoothly.

assistant starters are a different group of people, possessing a certain fearlessness, but at the same time having the ability to remain calm in the face of danger.  Unlike most jobs, when something goes wrong in the gate it may very well end in death, either of the horse or jockey or even assistant starter. Now don`t go getting the wrong idea, the starting gate isn`t a bad place, nor is it harmful to animals most times, but sometimes things just go wrong.  How many times have you tied your shoe laces, maybe thousands of times, but every now and then something happens and they don`t get tied right and you fall and hurt yourself.    Well it is their job to see that , it doesn`t happen.

assistant starters all answer to one person… the starter!  bet you didn`t see that one coming did you?  His job goes beyond just the pushing of a button to begin the race.  He is in charge of assigning certain horses to certain assistant starters.  Just like in any job some people work better with certain things than others.  Some are faster at loading, which is good for horses that are ok in the gate.  Others are better with horses that are less willing to load.  And also there are a few other responsibilities that need doing each race, like driving the tractor to the right distance, and moving it right away after the race starts.   All of these things are involved in each and every race, but get over looked.

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