Larry Dagg, as an outrider, is the man behind creating a safe environment during live racing and morning workouts at the track here at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino. This includes the safety of both the humans and the horses. You’ll be able to recognize him on the track riding a horse wearing a red jacket.
Dagg grew up racing pony chuck wagons in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba before becoming an outrider in Saskatoon. “In 1984, my oldest brother switched from the ponies to the big wagons and I went to the racetrack and still haven’t left,” Dagg said.
Dagg is responsible with enforcing the rules of the track and documenting violations, injuries, or cases of individuals engaging in unsafe riding and he makes sure that all required safety equipment is in use by the riders at all times. He also summons the ambulance in case of emergencies for fallen riders and assists with loading injured horses onto the equine ambulance.
Dagg starts his day at around 7 a.m. and the track doesn’t get opened until he gives the go ahead. Dagg explained his morning routine, “Ensuring safety, first off. There’re also certain rules of etiquette that I police. Or if someone is having trouble, I ride in and ask if they need any help. If they’re having too much trouble, I can send them home if I have to. Especially if there’s a horse that’s not going to cooperate and might cause danger to anyone else out there.”
During race time, two outriders can be seen on the track. Dagg broke down what his responsibilities include during race time, “Again, ensuring safety. The stewards notify me on time and the starter and assistant starter notify me on loading order. Because I’m mobile on my horse, I can tell the pony people what order we want them in coming to the gate.”
The outriders make sure that they are strategically placed to provide coverage around the track amongst the both of them. In certain circumstances, the outriders will band together in order to solve any problems on the track. “As far as the two of us being out there, hopefully when something happens, we can carrel the horse on each side instead of going around the racetrack,” Dagg said.
When you are an outrider, your responsibilities rely heavily on how well the horse you are riding works with you. “You’re only as good as what you’re sitting on. My four main horses are all retired race horses. As far as what you look for, you want a horse who does what they’re asked.”
When everything is running smoothly on the track, you might not see Dagg as much, which is a good sign in horseracing!
We would like to thank Dagg and his team for all of their dedication and hard work here at the racetrack. For more details on Dagg and his position, head over to Century Downs’ YouTube channel or Facebook page (@CenturyDowns) for the full video on this story.
COMING UP AT CENTURY DOWNS
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See you at Century Downs!