UofL educators plan to use historic Kentucky Derby disqualification in the classroom

UofL students will learn from Kentucky Derby disqualification

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - At the University of Louisville, classes are over for the semester, but Equine Industry Program Coordinator Terri Burch is still at her desk.

"Next year, you better believe that this is on the agenda," Burch said.

Students may be gone, but just down the road last Saturday plans for a new lesson were sparked at Churchill Downs when a historic disqualification knocked Maximum Security out of the Winner’s Circle, propelling Country House to the Kentucky Derby title.

"You've got thousands of people that are there, and millions of people that are watching the broadcast, you better have a crisis management plan," Burch said.

Burch added that discussion will be part of an undergraduate current issues class she teaches.

For now, the debate remains fresh – some are upset over the disqualification as others argue it was the right call.

“If they had done anything less than what they did, they would be sending a message to every jockey that you can continue to run this like a rodeo and nobody cares,” Alexander Waldrop, the President of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said.

Burch said regardless of how people are feeling now, the historic moment will keep her students thinking critically about race management processes regarding jockeys, media and track operations next semester.

She also said the case study will find itself center stage when the program runs race steward continuing education and certification courses for professionals.

“One of the things that a lot of the people in the industry are looking for are model rules,” Burch said. “So that everybody runs under the same rules no matter what jurisdictions that you run in. So, this is probably going to lend itself to looking at something like that.”

Burch said the goal is to dissect what was done, which is something she said may help stewards if history repeats itself ever again.

“You only hear about them when something bad happens,” Burch said. “The rest of the time they’re invisible.”

Burch said her current events class in the spring semester dealt with horse breakdowns at Santa Anita.

Copyright 2019 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.