Jeff Powell, Claiborne, Jeff discussed on The Horse Racing Radio Network Podcast


The time my question is button is going to do it again, but I got lucky. You didn't do it again. They came out of there. Visiting the keenland started Jeff Powell here in this week's edition of unsung heroes presented by claiborne, you heard him talk about his team and it is a team effort he's the quarterback essentially. But he works with a team of starting gate crew members that help ensure a safe and a fair start to every race. Jeff, let me ask you this question. What is the one thing that keeps you up at night? The one nightmare scenario that a starter could experience. Leaving a horse behind the star gate. And I'm knocking on some wood right now because I don't even like to talk about that. That's my nightmare. You my nightmare. Do you ever spring the latch and go, gosh, I should have waited an extra second? Oh, sure. Yeah. Really? Or I missed my tents? You know, sometimes you sometimes you do it and if you think you should have done it quicker because or you should have waited yes, exactly. Yes, there's a lot of times that's happened. Believe me, to every starter that's ever starting to race. I can tell you that. Yeah, yeah. I'm sure it has I mentioned the conversation in that the things that go on in the starting gate. If you would take me inside the gate when the horse loads and the jockeys aboard the horse and the starting gate crew members are there in the stall with each horse, what exactly is going on? What are those conversations like if they even are conversations between the jockey and the starting gate crew? Oh yeah, there's always conversations. A lot of those are just trying to get the job is to relax too because I mean they're not scared, but they're nervous, you know, and they want to they want to get out and they don't want to host a stone when they don't want to get bumped when they come out of there. They want their horse straight too. But sometimes they're trying to help you too much and that affects the horse too, you know. They're trying to they're trying to do the same thing you're doing. It's kind of you go in and you'll talk, you do, you talk to riders. How you doing today? Just kind of conversation like that. Or they'll say they want to get off really good, which everybody does. We don't have to say that. We know that things like that. It's kind of funny, actually. Yeah. You said you keep a book on each horse. So you know their tendencies. So you can review it when you get ready to load them in for the races in the afternoons. How about with the jockeys? Is there something to be said for the starting gate crew having a knowledge of the jockey and their tendencies? Oh, yeah. And you know how people some people get along better with other people and I've actually when I worked in Florida I actually tried to put guys that I knew got along with jockeys and was included because it helps believe me, if they don't like the job, which some people don't get along, you try to change the bother the horse too. There's kind of a lot of different things you're dealing with. You're dealing with two people in there in a homeownership, you're trying to keep more quiet and these guys do a good job, I'm telling you right now, a real good job. It really is fascinating. And you know, being on the starting gate crew is one of the first of all, a lot of people don't even realize how much great work that they do and how important they are to the start of race. But it's one of the most dangerous jobs you can have on the racetrack too, isn't it? Oh, yeah, absolutely. The thing I always say is you'll see a horse ran up in the jockey gets thrown out usually. Sometimes a lot of times the job is getting hurt in there too, but the jockey can always get off and leave. The guy in there with the horse, if he's doing his job, right. He can't leave. He's standing there with a horse. Trying to keep him in there from hurting himself or anybody else or the guy beside us. There's horses on both sides of those horses rare up and they'll strike the guy next to him and start the guy in the stone with him. Our clients are the bad things going to happen. Guys, turn those shoulders up and then these not too many systems start with getting back to the point horses in and it's rough. It's a rough job. But most of the guys that do it for a long time, they're doing it because they really like it. It's kind of weird. Yeah, it's for love of the game. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. You know, they say in football that if you don't notice an offensive lineman that they are doing their job correctly, but you notice them when they mess up and they get called for a holding penalty, for example, or hands to the face or one of those types of things. But if they don't get a penalty, you don't notice them, and that means they're doing their job right. And it's very much like that with the starters roll too, isn't it? Yeah. If somebody knows your name for a reason. A lot of people don't know who you are. You probably did a pretty good job. Well, Jeff, actually. Yes, spend a minute or two talking about your background. I know you said you grew up in Wyoming, is that right? No, I'm from Montana. Montana. Okay. Please do resources in Washington Oregon. And affairs in montcalm went on a little kid. And let me see an.

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