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Friday, June 16, 2017

Jeff Fager of CBS News to Deliver Keynote Address at Fourth Thoroughbred Owner Conference

Jeff Fager, the award-winning executive producer of “60 Minutes” and a Thoroughbred owner, will deliver the keynote address when OwnerView and BloodHorse host the fourth Thoroughbred Owner Conference in Del Mar, Calif., this fall.

The event will be held at the Hilton San Diego / Del Mar from October 30 – November 1, the week leading up to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Breeders’ Cup Ltd. is the presenting sponsor for the conference.

As in years past, the Thoroughbred Owner Conference is designed to educate, inform, and entertain new, prospective, and current Thoroughbred owners through a series of panels and social events.

With Fager at the helm over the past 14 years, “60 Minutes” has maintained its status as the most watched news program in America. Fager also served as the first chairman of CBS News from 2011 – 2014, when he reorganized the news division’s platforms on television, radio and the Internet.

He was the recipient of the 2012 Paul White Award, which recognizes an individual’s lifetime contributions to electronic journalism, from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

This fall, Simon and Schuster will publish Fager’s book Fifty Years of 60 Minutes: The Inside Story of Television’s Most Influential News Broadcast and Owner Conference attendances will receive an autographed copy of it.

Fager became interested in horse racing through his father, Dr. Charles Fager, a Boston-based neurosurgeon.

In 1965, Dr. Fager was credited with saving the life of trainer John Nerud. Nerud then honored the doctor by bestowing his name upon a racehorse.

Dr. Fager the Thoroughbred went on to become the only horse to ever win four different championship awards in the same year, earning Horse of the Year, Champion Older Horse, Champion Turf Horse, and Champion Sprinter in 1968. That year, he set a world record for a mile in the Washington Park Handicap, covering the distance in 1:32.20.

Dr. Charles Fager passed away at the age of 90 on April 8, 2014, and John Nerud died at the age of 102 on August 13, 2015.

Currently, Fager owns and co-owns Thoroughbred racehorses in New York and Ireland. He has campaigned the stakes runners Miss Melinda and Final Chapter.

“Beyond his extraordinary achievement in the field of television news, Jeff and his family have a long and interesting connection to Thoroughbred racing,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club.  “We are looking forward to hearing about that history and about his experiences as an enthusiastic Thoroughbred owner and fan.”

Attendees at the owner conference will enjoy three days of conference presentations, a dinner at the Hilton San Diego / Del Mar, multiple opportunities to network with panelists and industry personnel, and the option to attend the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday and Saturday.

Conference details, including the complete schedule of events, registration forms, host hotel information, and other tourism tips are available at ownerview.com.

Registrations are available for the full conference and a social-events-only registration is available to spouses or partners of attendees. Both types of registration include Breeders’ Cup tickets.

OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.

The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView website was launched in May 2012.

Additional information about OwnerView is available at ownerview.com or by contacting Gary Falter at gfalter@jockeyclub.com or (859) 224-2803.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Interactive, Electronic Edition of The Horsemen’s Journal Summer 2017 Issue is Now Available

The interactive, electronic version of The Horsemen’s Journal’s Summer 2017 issue is now available online. It is an enhanced version of our Summer issue, which is currently being mailed. To view it, click here.

Features in the issue include:

OLD FRIENDS’ MOST CHARMING RETIREE
Silver Charm is one of several Triple Crown race winners enjoying the good life in retirement

NO LASIX RACING: GOOD IDEA OR FAILED EXPERIMENT?
A closer look at the concept and what it means for the safety of horses and riders

SMART TECHNOLOGY TRACKERS
Remote monitoring devices are set to have a big impact on the horse industry

ACUPRESSURE FOR HORSES
Noninvasive Chinese therapy uses acupuncture points to ease pain, promote well-being

THE LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS ABOUT COMMISSION COMPLAINT RESOLUTION
A primer and a plan for change for horsemen

Much more than a PDF, the interactive electronic edition of The Horsemen’s Journal includes the ability to save, print, email, or share content on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Please enjoy this exciting offering from the National HBPA and share it with anyone you think might enjoy it.

All hyperlinks/URLs and email addresses in the electronic edition are working, clickable links. So be sure to click on some of them – especially those in the advertisements to get more information on the great products and services being offered by the companies supporting your horsemen’s organization.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Images, Presentations and Videos from the Pan Am Conference and IFAR now Available

Images, presentations and videos from the Pan American Conference and the International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR) are available online.

To view the Pan Am materials, visit panamdc2017.com and click the Resources tab.

To view the IFAR materials, visit internationalracehorseaftercare.com and click Resources tab and then click the link to the presentations.

The IFAR conference, held May 18 and 19, 2017, coincided with the Pan Am Conference, which was held May 17 – 20 in Washington, D.C., and concluded with a trip to the 142nd Preakness Stakes. IFAR is an independent forum that recognizes geographical and industry differences among racing countries and is designed to enhance Thoroughbred aftercare worldwide.

The Pan Am Conference, hosted by The Jockey Club and the Latin American Racing Channel, was a mix of business and social events, including the Preakness Stakes Celebration presented by the Stronach Group and the Gala Dinner of the Pan American Conference presented by Longines, featuring the Longines Ladies Awards, for a global audience surrounding the Thoroughbred industry. The event was attended by more than 400 representatives from 25 countries.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

HBPA of Ontario Announces New Online Initiative to Promote Horse Racing and Racehorse Ownership

The Ontario Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new initiative developed to promote the growth of horse racing in this province.

The HBPA of Ontario Board of Directors has decided to produce an online series aimed at attracting new owners to the Thoroughbred industry and new fans to the track. The series, Talkin' Horses, will pick up from the HBPA of Ontario’s award-winning television show of the same name which ran for three years on CTV Television. With the
continued growth of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, and the popularity of watching programming online and on-demand, the decision to offer the series digitally was made strategically to reach a millennial demographic.

The show, which will have 10 episodes through the summer and fall, will be an energetic, fast-moving look at how to get into affordable racehorse ownership, handicapping a horse race and picking a winner - plus features on the people and horses in the sport and detailed previews of all the big races.

The HBPA of Ontario has contracted television and radio host Jason Portuondo and racing writer Jennifer Morrison, each from the television iteration of Talkin' Horses, to produce the 2017 online series. It will be directed by the award-winning Alex Narvaez of Narvaez Productions, producer and editor of The Strombo Sessions with George Stroumboulopoulos and creator of short films, television series and promotional movies for the Toronto International Film Festival.

For updates stay tuned on Twitter and the HBPA of Ontario (www.hbpa.on.ca) or Talkin Horses (www.talkinhorses.com) websites.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Aftercare Advocates Stress Owner Responsibility, Humane Treatment at First International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses

International advocates for equine aftercare emphasized owner responsibility and humane treatment in addition to sharing insights on retirement programs for horses whose racing or breeding careers have ended during the two day International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR), which held its first conference in Washington, D.C., on May 17 and 18, 2017.

The IFAR event coincided with the Pan American Conference, an international conference on Thoroughbred racing hosted by The Jockey Club and the Latin American Racing Channel.

“The IFAR conference featured presentations from a unique international gathering of aftercare participants from some of the sport’s top organizations in Thoroughbred aftercare,” said Di Arbuthnot, chairman of IFAR and chief executive of Retraining of Racehorses. “Having our conference coincide with the Pan American Conference enabled us to share our views on aftercare best practices with a truly global audience, which is part of our mission.”

IFAR conference topics covered all aspects of Thoroughbred aftercare, including post-racing options, connecting aftercare and horseplayers, harmonization of the rules of racing for owners, and standards for aftercare providers.

In her presentation to the entire Pan Am Conference on Thursday, Arbuthnot discussed IFAR’s vision for aftercare in the global Thoroughbred industry and reminded attendees how important aftercare is to the entire industry.

“We all have a shared responsibility for the welfare of racehorses, which extends beyond the track. Across the entire animal welfare debate, the spotlight is on an animal’s quality of life and the emerging concept of a life worth living,” Arbuthnot said. “The welfare of racehorses throughout their lifetime is one of the single greatest issues facing the racing industry. A key function of IFAR is to provide help and support by sharing expertise and good practice on a global basis whilst recognizing cultural differences.”

Thursday’s keynote address was delivered by Michael Blowen, a former film critic for the Boston Globe and founder and president of the Thoroughbred retirement facility Old Friends. He also made his presentation at the Pan Am Conference.

“Horses have value and I consider [equine] retirement a legitimate career. This is their third career. These horses are priceless. Racing is based on competition on every level: racing, breeding, sales and others. When these horses come to our farm, that competition is over. They tell us how they want to be treated,” he said.

“I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to have the thrill of a lifetime every day.”

The IFAR conference was hosted by The Jockey Club and supported by Godolphin and was open to all racing jurisdictions, aftercare organizations and other interested parties.

A video of the event and PowerPoint presentation will be available on the IFAR website, internationalracehorseaftercare.com, soon.

IFAR is an independent forum that recognizes geographical and industry differences among racing countries and is designed to enhance Thoroughbred aftercare worldwide. Working with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, IFAR will raise awareness of the importance of welfare for Thoroughbreds, improve education on lifetime care, and help increase demand for former racehorses in other equestrian sports. For more information on IFAR, visit internationalracehorseaftercare.com.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Nominations to open for the second annual Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards

Nominations will open on Monday, May 8th, for the 2017 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards which were held in America for the first time in 2016. Nominations can be submitted until Tuesday, August 1st, at midnight. This year, there will be a total of six awards which will carry total prize money of $128,000, an increase of $13,000 over last year.

Godolphin, the global racing stable founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is the principal sponsor of the awards in association with The Jockey Club, The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association (TOBA). Godolphin also sponsors the equivalent Stud and Stable Staff Awards in Ireland, Australia, Britain and France.

The Keeneland Association has graciously offered to host the awards again this year which will take place on Friday, October 13th.

A new award category has been added, “The Newcomer Award,” which will recognize an individual who has been working in any area of Thoroughbred racing and/or breeding for less than five years as of May 8th, 2017. In addition to the prize money for this award, the winner will also receive a five-day educational tour to Dubai with flights and accommodation included.

Dan Pride, COO of Godolphin in America, said, “On behalf of Godolphin, we would like to thank everyone that made the first year of the TIEAs a huge success, including the nominators. The involvement of the HBPA, Jockey Club and TOBA, as well as media support from the TDN, BloodHorse, the Daily Racing Form and TVG, was instrumental in bringing these awards to fruition. The first group of nominees was so impressive across the board and we fully expect to see that again this year. It’s extremely heartwarming that the hardworking men and women in our industry receive the recognition that they truly deserve.”

For more information and to nominate online, please go to www.godolphinusawards.com. You’ll also be able to watch the video of the 2016 ceremony, view frequently asked questions and download the nomination form.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Congress Poised to Pass Limited H-2B Cap Relief

As you know, the H-2B visa is of vital importance to the horse racing industry. The National HBPA, along with others in the racing industry and other industries that use the H-2B visa, have been working hard to ensure this visa remains a viable option. The good news is that Congress is poised to provide limited H-2B cap relief. Below is an update from the H-2B Workforce Coalition:

Late yesterday, Congress reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill to fund the federal government through September 30, 2017. Thanks to a massive effort from everyone in the H-2B community, the bill contains limited H-2B cap relief.

The House and Senate are expected to pass the bill this week and send it to President Trump for his signature before Friday. This agreement essentially ends the chance of a government shut down next week.

The bill provides the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the authority to raise the H-2B cap when he determines that there is an economic need. It limits the total number of H-2B workers to that may enter the U.S. during fiscal 2017 to 129,547, the number of new and returning H-2B workers admitted to the U.S. in fiscal 2007. After the bill becomes law, we must work with the Administration to encourage the Secretary of Homeland Security to implement this provision.

The bill contains the following language:

SEC. 543. Notwithstanding the numerical limitation set forth in section 214(g)(1)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(1)(B)), the Secretary of Homeland Security, after consultation with the Secretary of Labor, and upon the determination that the needs of American businesses cannot be satisfied in fiscal year 2017 with United States workers who are willing, qualified, and able to perform temporary nonagricultural labor, may increase the total number of aliens who may receive a visa under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b)) in such fiscal year above such limitation by not more than the highest number of H–2B nonimmigrants who participated in the H–2B returning worker program in any fiscal year in which returning workers were exempt from such numerical limitation.

We will provide additional updates as the bill moves through the legislative process. Thanks again to everyone for the tremendous outreach to lawmakers. Your voices were heard on Capitol Hill.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

H-2B Call to Action - We Have 10 Days to Make a Difference!

We have 10 days to make a difference!

Congress must address federal spending bills for the remainder of fiscal year 2017 by April 28 to avoid a government shutdown. The primary opportunity that we have for getting the Returning Worker Exemption reenacted and saving the H-2B visa program for this season is by inclusion of the language in the spending bill that must be passed by that date. Congress needs to hear a steady drum beat from H-2B users across the country if we are going to be successful in reinstating the returning worker exemption through a year-end spending bill. Your help is crucial in this endeavor.

CALL TO ACTION #1
Please call both of your Senator's offices and ask him/her to sign on to Senator Flake’s (R-AZ) letter to leadership in support of the returning worker exemption being included in the appropriations measure for the remainder of fiscal year 2017. The letter will be sent on Friday so they must sign on THIS WEEK. 

You can reach your Senators through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121. To find out who your two Senators are please go to this website: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

CALL TO ACTION #2
Call your member of Congress and ask the member to please contact Speaker Ryan’s office and ask that the Speaker ensures that the H-2B Returning Worker Exemption is included in any appropriation measure to fund the balance of FY 2017.

DO NOT CALL SPEAKER RYAN’S OFFICE YOURSELF UNLESS YOU LIVE IN HIS DISTRICT.  

You can reach your Representative through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121.  To find out who your Representative is please go to this website: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Even if you have already made multiple phone calls and visits to your member of Congress and your Senators, please call again today, tomorrow, and every day until April 28th. Please let me know what you are being told by the staffers that answer the phone. Thank you!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Race Track Chaplaincy of America Announces Board of Directors for 2017

Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA), a ministry that serves the horse racing industry at racetracks and training facilities across the United States and beyond, has announced this year’s board of directors:

Elliott Walden (President)- President & CEO, WinStar Farm.  Has served RTCA on many levels, working closely with both the KY. and NY. Chaplaincies.

Rich Gimmel (Vice President)- Owner and chairman of Atlas Machine and Supply, Inc., currently Executive Director of the Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy Council.

Chaplain Humberto Chavez (Secretary)- Senior Chaplain for the New York Race Track Chaplaincy since 2003, serving Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Belmont Park.

Chaplain Darrell Winter (Treasurer)- Chaplain at Ruidoso Downs for 17 years and the RTCA National Treasurer for the past 2 years.

Arnie Frazee (Region Director’s Representative)- Has served on various committees and Board positions within RTCA, based out of the Remington Park Race Track Chaplaincy.

Karen Chavez (Women’s Ministry Representative)- Leads women’s ministry for the New York Race Track Chaplaincy and has previously held the position on the RTCA National level.

Jody Parmenter (Council President’s Representative)- Serving as the Council President for the Emerald Downs Chaplaincy in Washington state.

Chaplain Dwight Brown (Chaplain’s Representative)- Chaplain at Evangeline Downs for the last six years.  Also serves as a Pastor of a church in Louisiana and Police Officer with the Opelousas Police Department.

Allyn Mann (Industry Representative)- Director of the Animal Health Division of Luitpold Animal Health.  Has committed the past 29 years to working in the animal health industry.

Dan Waits (Executive Director)- Began role of RTCA Executive Director in 2016.  Previously served as Executive Pastor in two Kentucky churches.  Prior to ordination, served in the KY. Governor’s Office and as a Program/Account Manager in the automotive industry.

Executive Director Dan Waits expressed enthusiasm about working with the new RTCA Board. “I’m grateful to have served with those board members whose terms have ended and welcome our newest board members.  It’s a great balance of folks that are involved every day in the horse racing industry and care deeply about the ministry.  I look forward to working together as we continue to improve RTCA’s ability to serve.”

Since 1972, the Race Track Chaplaincy of America has served the horse racing industry through the work of Chaplains, Councils, and volunteers at horse tracks and training facilities across the United States and beyond.  The mission of RTCA is to minister to the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, and educational needs of those persons involved in all aspects of the horse racing industry.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Interactive, Electronic Edition of The Horsemen’s Journal Spring 2017 Issue is Now Available

The interactive, electronic version of The Horsemen’s Journal’s Spring 2017 issue is now available online. It is an enhanced version of our Spring issue, which is currently being mailed. To view it, click here.

Features in the issue include:

ALL FOR ONE
Horsemen gather in Las Vegas for the National HBPA’s Annual Convention with a theme of working together

IMMIGRATION ISSUES
A look at what new policies and executive orders mean for the racing industry

A CALL FOR COMMON SENSE IN TESTING
How supersensitive testing and contamination are affecting horsemen

OUT IN THE COLD
Ingredients in over-the-counter cold medicines can wreak havoc on a trainer’s livelihood and an owner’s prized racehorse

Much more than a PDF, the interactive electronic edition of The Horsemen’s Journal includes the ability to save, print, email, or share content on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Please enjoy this exciting offering from the National HBPA and share it with anyone you think might enjoy it.

All hyperlinks/URLs and email addresses in the electronic edition are working, clickable links. So be sure to click on some of them – especially those in the advertisements to get more information on the great products and services being offered by the companies supporting your horsemen’s organization.

"Salty" Roberts, Founder of National Chaplaincy, Dies at 85

"Salty" Roberts
Horace William “Salty” Roberts, founder of Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA), passed away Friday at the age of 85. Salty died at a hospice care center in Hollywood, Florida, located near his home in Cooper City, following a sustained illness.

Salty witnessed and experienced firsthand the needs of what he considered to be his family—the workers who care for horses on a daily basis on the backside of racetracks. Following a dramatic spiritual conversion, he began ministering to track workers in the late 1960s. Salty took the first step toward establishing the first recognized worship services on the backside of a thoroughbred race track in 1970.

His efforts spread to other race tracks and led to the establishment of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA) in 1972. From that early beginning, the RTCA today supports chaplains ministering at 39 racetracks and training centers throughout the nation.

“Salty had a real burden on his heart for the people that he worked with,” said long-time friend Pat Day, a Hall of Fame jockey and currently president of the Kentucky chapter of RTCA. “He eagerly shared that burden by establishing a ministry to serve them right where they worked and often live—on the backside of race tracks.”

Of the passing, Dan Waits, Executive Director of Race Track Chaplaincy of America said, “Countless lives and generations to come have been and will be impacted by the Christ-centered work of Salty Roberts. We stand on his shoulders, and RTCA will continue to honor his legacy by carrying out the mission he established.”

Of his efforts to share Christ with racetrack workers, Salty once said, "I never did become a top jockey or a leading trainer, but God has given me something better than all that. He gave me the gift of salvation through his Son, and at the end of my life, when I hear him say, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant,' I'll know I've won my race. That's the greatest honor I could ever receive."

The Race Track Chaplaincy of America which Salty founded continues to serve the horse racing industry today with Chaplains, Councils, and volunteers at horse tracks and training facilities across the United States and beyond. The mission of RTCA remains the same: to minister to the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, and educational needs of those persons involved in all aspects of the horse racing industry.

Salty is survived by his wife, Dallas; six children: Mark Roberts, Lygia Colton (Kevin), Mary McKeever, Chris Roberts (Melissa); Paul Roberts, and Alicia Gargiulo (John); nine grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.

For more information on the work of the ministry that he started, go www.rtcanational.org.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Kentucky HBPA Endorses EquiLottery as ‘Important Innovation’

The Kentucky HBPA, one of the country’s largest horsemen’s organizations, has endorsed EquiLottery, the innovative lottery product based on the results of live horse racing.

Brad Cummings, EquiLottery’s founder and chief executive officer, called the stamp of approval from the Kentucky division of the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association “an important piece in moving the game towards adoption in its home state of Kentucky and beyond.

“We are delighted to count the Kentucky HBPA as core supporters of our mission to bring the excitement of live horse racing to the masses through our unprecedented lottery experience," Cummings said. “This organization has been a friend of EquiLottery since our public unveiling, and their support has been foundational to our continued momentum. We thank their entire leadership team for standing with us while we have dedicated ourselves to creating this new distribution and revenue opportunity for horse racing and increasing returns to the good causes supported by state lotteries around the country."

The Kentucky HBPA represents about 6,000 owners and trainers racing at the commonwealth’s five Thoroughbred tracks, working on issues such as funding and increasing race purses, ensuring safety measures at the track and assisting in services that take care of the professional and personal needs of their members. The Kentucky HBPA is the second such organization to show public support for EquiLottery, following the endorsement of West Virginia Racing United, which is made up of horsemen’s associations in the Mountain State.

"We have been thrilled to support Brad and his vision for EquiLottery over the years," said Kentucky HBPA president Rick Hiles. "It is so vital that we bring new people into the sport for this industry to have the bright future we all know it can enjoy. While we welcome any new revenue opportunities, the HBPA is most enthusiastic about the chance to introduce millions of people across the country to the excitement of live horse racing through this important innovation. EquiLottery is by far the best model we have seen to accomplish this goal. We wholeheartedly back this product and ask state leadership in Kentucky to do the same."

Since its public announcement over the summer of 2014, EquiLottery has worked diligently to develop its lottery product based on the results of live horse racing. The company has structured agreements with lottery-industry leader IGT Global Solutions and tote-system leader AmTote International to deliver a cohesive lottery experience for state lotteries and their players.

EquiLottery recently announced its first racetrack agreements with Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and Eldorado Resorts’ Mountaineer Park, both in West Virginia. The Kentucky-based company is also in development on its IOS and Android mobile app that will allow players to watch races live and on replay, scan tickets and set push notifications for upcoming races — all from the convenience of their mobile devices.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

First International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses Conference Set for May 2017 in Washington, D.C.



The International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR) will hold its first conference in Washington, D.C., on May 17 and 18, 2017, coinciding with the Pan American Conference.
 “This aftercare conference provides horse racing representatives from around the world with the opportunity to discuss the aftercare of our Thoroughbred racehorses,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. “In addition to the major racing nations, we hope to include racing and aftercare representatives from smaller countries and emerging racing nations who share our mission to provide proper care of Thoroughbreds during their lifetimes.”

Speakers will represent many aspects of Thoroughbred aftercare and welfare, from promoting and retraining to connecting aftercare to bettors and developing non-racing agreements for owners.

Boyd Martin, a three-day event rider, is the keynote speaker on Wednesday. He has finished in the top 10 at every four-star event in the world except Badminton (England). Originally from Australia, Martin moved to the United States in 2007. One of his best-known horses is Blackfoot Mystery, an off-track Thoroughbred.

Thursday’s keynote address will be given by Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends and former film critic of the Boston Globe. Old Friends is a Thoroughbred retirement facility consisting of two farms, one in Kentucky and one in New York, that provide homes for pensioned stallions and other Thoroughbreds whose careers in racing and breeding have come to an end.

Representatives from prominent groups such as the American Association of Equine Practitioners (Kathleen Anderson), Au-delĂ  des Pistes in France (Lisa-Jane Graffard), International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, Japanese Racing Association (Takahiro Nishio), Racing Queensland (Dr. Eliot Forbes), Racing Victoria (Raelene Harrison), Retired Racehorse Project (Steuart Pittman), Retraining of Racehorses in the United Kingdom (Di Arbuthnot), The Humane Society of the United States (Wayne Pacelle), The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (Kristin Leshney), and Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (Stacie Clark Rogers) will provide their perspective insights on Thoroughbred aftercare.

IFAR is an independent forum that recognizes geographical and industry differences among racing countries and is designed to enhance Thoroughbred aftercare worldwide. Working with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, IFAR will raise awareness of the importance of welfare for Thoroughbreds, improve education on lifetime care, and help increase demand for former racehorses in other equestrian sports.

Attendance at the IFAR conference, which is hosted by The Jockey Club and supported by Godolphin, is open to all racing jurisdictions, aftercare organizations and other interested parties.

“We hope to promote the versatility and adaptability of Thoroughbreds globally,” said Di Arbuthnot, chief executive, Retraining of Racehorses.  “We want the world to know that Thoroughbreds can excel in other equestrian sports as well as they excel in racing, and they also make fantastic companions, hacks, therapeutic horses – the list goes on.”

IFAR has also announced the launch of its website, internationalracehorseaftercare.com, which is a resource for anyone interested in the welfare of Thoroughbreds. The website features the IFAR Principles of Aftercare, which have been developed in collaboration with IFAR steering group members and welfare specialists drawing on the expertise of international governing bodies. It will also provide educational resources, expert support, and updates on IFAR and its members. 

“IFAR is committed to bringing together the organizations from around the world that facilitate and promote the retraining of racehorses to share expertise and best practices,” said Dr. Eliot Forbes, CEO, Racing Queensland, chair, Racing Australia, Retirement of Racehorses Committee. “In addition to information and resources focusing on aftercare, the website will provide inspirational content and showcase achievements on a global scale.”

To sign up for the conference or for more information on IFAR, visit internationalracehorseaftercare.com or contact registration@internationalracehorseaftercare.com  
Those who wish to attend only the IFAR meetings, send an email to registration@internationalracehorseaftercare.com indicating so. There is no cost to attend the business meetings themselves of IFAR.
For those who wish to attend the remainder of the Pan American Conference, including the Gala Dinner featuring the Longines Ladies Awards and Preakness Stakes (see the Pan American Conference Program), the cost will be $500. Please use the same address above for registration information. 

The Pan American Conference, hosted by The Jockey Club and the Latin American Racing Channel, is a mix of business and social events that will take place in Washington, D.C., May 17 - 20, 2017, in the days leading up to the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md. Attendance of the IFAR Conference includes the social events of the Pan American Conference on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. For more information on the Pan American Conference, visit panamdc2017.com.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

An Open Letter to the Industry on Environmental Contamination

National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback and Dr. Steven A. Barker, one of the world’s foremost experts in equine drug testing and research, have written an important open letter to the industry on environmental contamination.

The letter begins, "On behalf of owners and trainers in every jurisdiction, we would like to address comments made during a recent Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meeting regarding the dismissal of several dextrorphan cases. Dr. Mary Scollay, who serves in an advisory capacity for the KHRC as its equine medical director, told those regulators that environmental contamination as a source had nothing to do with three violations for the presence of dextrorphan in urine being thrown out.

After publicly thanking the KHRC last month for taking the lead on the significant issue of environmental contamination, something horsemen deal with on a day-to-day basis, we find Dr. Scollay’s comments disappointing. We believe Dr. Scollay is mistaken regarding elements of environmental contamination. Yet in explaining why the cases were dismissed, she also established a sensible policy change."

To read the complete letter published in the Thoroughbred Daily News, click here.

Friday, February 24, 2017

KEEP Day Connects KEEP Members with Friends in the Legislature, Old and New

Senator Steve West (left) with National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback
Kentucky equine-industry participants and supporters got the chance to emphasize the important impact horses have on the state and local economies during visits with state legislators on Wednesday’s KEEP Day in Frankfort organized by the Kentucky Equine Education Project.

Several dozen stake-holders in Kentucky’s $4 billion horse industry told an array of lawmakers their individual stories and advocated for state sales tax exemption for feed, equipment and supplies, equal to that provided to other livestock.

Edmonton County’s Linda Starnes, a team leader in KEEP’s state-wide grassroots network who owns, trains and shows Tennessee Walking Horses, said the Kentucky Breeders’ Incentive Fund (KBIF) is a tribute to all breeds in the state working together to enhance the overall horse industry. The KBIF, whose creation was spear-headed by KEEP working with legislators, provides funding for non-racing breeds and is largely financed by sales tax on Thoroughbred stud fees. This month, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission released $940,000 from the KBIF to non-race breeds, bringing the total distributed since the fund’s 2005 inception to $10.8 million.

“If it wasn’t for the horse-racing industry, we wouldn’t have the Breeders’ Incentive Fund program,” Starnes said. “And if we didn’t have the Breeders’ Incentive Fund Program, this kind of horse-showing wouldn’t be happening; it would be gone.”

Sen. Robin Webb of Grayson County, a member of the executive committee of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association, said the KBIF is attracting horses from non-racing breeds to Kentucky, resulting in a huge surge in competitions.

“It helps infuse money into our local economies, maintains facilities and provides opportunity to show and utilize your horses and equines of all kinds,” Webb said. “… The numbers don’t tell the tale of the impact. You can’t look at that ledger book and make a valid assessment of the impact, because it’s so far greater than that.”

Said Rep. James Kay of Versailles: “We absolutely benefit from the horse industry every day in ways that people don’t always understand. We need to do a better job articulating that, and showing the economic driver that the industry is for our people.”

Agreed Rep. Adam Koenig, whose district includes Turfway Park: “There are so many jobs associated with horses, horse racing. People like green space and open space. It adds to the economy in so many ways through direct and indirect jobs. Obviously it’s our signature industry - in large part our identity.”

Rep. Kelly Flood of Lexington said KEEP has done a good job focusing on the economic benefits of the industry.

“That’s what it’s about, if you don’t have horses in your district,” she said of the legislature. “Not everybody has the bourbon industry in their district. But the bourbon industry is good for the whole commonwealth. You have to do the same thing with all our signature industries.”

Eric Hamelback, chief executive officer of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, told Sen. Reggie Thomas of Lexington that, “What Kentucky does is viewed by every other racing state there is…. This state is the measure of what every other state tries to get to. Very important for us.”

“It was a great day in the capitol for Kentucky’s horse industry,” said Joe Clabes, KEEP executive director. “Our members were able to visit with some longtime friends and also get acquainted with some of the new legislators. These interactions with our members are critical to helping legislators understand the beneficial role horses have in our state. KEEP will continue to create opportunities for our grassroots horse folks to develop relationships with elected officials. It will be a year-around effort, not just during the legislative session.”

ABOUT KEEP
The Kentucky Equine Education Project is a not-for-profit grassroots organization created in 2004 to preserve, promote and protect Kentucky's signature horse industry. Support for KEEP’s activity comes directly from the horse industry and horse industry supporters. To learn more about how you can become a member or make a contribution, please visit www.horseswork.com.

Pennsylvania HBPA's New Start Re-homing Program Wins Zoetis Equine Charity Sweepstakes

From left to right: Megan Lapp, Zoetis; Dr. David Marshall; Lauren Zagnit, New Start; Sandee Martin, PA HBPA president; Todd Mostoller, PA HBPA executive director.
New Start, the Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolence and Protective Association (PA HBPA) retired racehorse re-homing program, was named grand prize winner in the Zoetis Equine Charity Sweepstakes. The equine charity in Grantville, Pennsylvania, received a $5,000 cash donation from Zoetis on behalf of the nominating veterinarian, Dr. David Marshall. Dr. Marshall nominated New Start while attending the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Annual Convention. He practices veterinary medicine at Penn National Race Course.

“This is the first sweepstakes I’ve ever won – it’s a wonderful contest to win because I can pass on the value to an organization in need and help support the equine industry,” said Dr. Marshall. “My responsibility at the racetrack, in part, is to secure the health and welfare of the horses that race here. While the career of a racehorse is limited, racehorses have many valuable years to give following their time at the track. That’s why I nominated New Start, they help provide temporary homes for racehorses before beginning their second careers.”

As a part of the PA HBPA, New Start has helped re-home more than 350 former racehorses over the past three years. The program focuses on placing horses where they will succeed in second careers as show horses, barrel racers, eventers, polo mounts, pleasure horses and more.

“Once a horse is donated to our program by an owner, our committee’s veterinarian and I examine the horse. Our findings determine which one of our foster farms will be most suitable for transitioning the horse to a successful second career. The vast majority of our Thoroughbreds excel in a wide range of riding disciplines but a few go to a sanctuary we help support,” said Lauren Zagnit, program coordinator, New Start. “We are so appreciative of the support Zoetis has provided and the opportunity to utilize these funds to help more horses find second careers.”

“Zoetis is committed to working together with veterinarians, horse owners and equine professionals to help improve health and wellness for all horses,” said Sally Amtmann, senior equine marketing manager, Zoetis. “We are pleased to extend our industry support to provide New Start with resources to assist in managing the horses in their care.”

Building on a six-decade history and a singular focus in animal health, Zoetis colleagues work every day to be a comprehensive resource for the equine industry. Zoetis is a proud educational partner of the AAEP, the American Horse Council, the American Quarter Horse Association and a supporter of Time to Ride, A Home For Every Horse and many other equine community initiatives. For more information on how Zoetis supports the equine industry and works to help horses live long, healthy lives, visit www.zoetisUS.com.

The Zoetis Equine Charity Sweepstakes was held at the 2016 AAEP Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida, from Dec. 3-7, 2016. Convention attendees nominated any equine 501(c)(3) charity of their choice at the Zoetis booth, and one grand prizewinner was drawn at random following the show.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kentucky HBPA and Turfway Park Team Up to Present Happy Hour Handicapping

Turfway Park and the Kentucky HBPA are teaming up March 3 for Happy Hour Handicapping, an interactive event where people who love racing, horses or just a good time can learn the basics of playing the races and take a first look at Kentucky Derby contenders.

The free event is part of that week’s Rockin’ Dollar Friday at Turfway, featuring live racing, one-dollar draft beer, hot dogs and bets as well as live music. Happy Hour Handicapping will begin on Turfway’s third floor at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, 45 minutes after the first race, and conclude an hour before the popular band DV8 takes the stage at 9:30 p.m.

Mike Battaglia, Turfway associate vice president and Kentucky Derby oddsmaker, who last year retired from the Turfway announcer’s booth after 43 years, and award-winning turf writer Jennie Rees will share simple handicapping strategies for those new to betting on races. Battaglia and Rees also will discuss their top picks for the Kentucky Derby and its Turfway preps: the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes on March 4 and the $500,000 Grade 3 JACK Cincinnati Casino Spiral Stakes on March 25.

Those who attend Happy Hour Handicapping will receive free general admission to the showcase Spiral card, also featuring the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks, a prep for the Kentucky Oaks.

“We are always looking for ways to team with our track partners to promote horse racing,” said Martin Maline, executive director of the Kentucky division of the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, which represents about 6,000 owners and trainers racing in the Commonwealth. “Those who come to Turfway primarily for the band can learn simple techniques for handicapping that will enhance their trip to the track. Plus, it’s never too early to decide who you like for the Derby.”

“It’s fun to be at the races, and the excitement increases as you learn how to pick horses,” said Turfway general manager Chip Bach. “Mike and Jennie will share their knowledge in a casual, fun environment. We look forward to all of our participants then joining us for the Spiral to see who earns a coveted spot in the Kentucky Derby this year.”

Happy Hour Handicapping also includes drawings for prizes, including tickets to the Spiral’s VIP tent; a Woodford Reserve 2016 Kentucky Derby commemorative bottle featuring the work of equine artist Thomas Allen Pauly; a print of Pauly’s bottle painting; reserved seats at Keeneland’s spring meet; racing-themed merchandise from All Pro Championships; and 13” X 19” prints of the 2015 Eclipse Award-winning photo taken by Courier-Journal photographer Michael Clevenger just after Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza crossed the finish line of their historic Belmont Stakes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ohio HBPA Donates $50,000 to Support New Vocations’ Aftercare Efforts

New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program announced today that the Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) has donated $50,000 to support the program’s aftercare efforts at their Ohio facility. In 2016, New Vocations took in over 450 retired racehorses, 66 of which came directly from an Ohio racetrack or farm.

“It is important to the Ohio HBPA that our retired Thoroughbreds be given a chance to thrive in a second career. We are proud to continue our partnership with New Vocations, an organization that began 25 years ago right here in Ohio to give our horses that chance," said Dave Basler, Ohio HBPA Executive Director.

“We are extremely grateful to the Ohio HBPA for their generous donation and ongoing support of our aftercare efforts in the state. Their support over the last several years has allowed us to expand our rehabilitation program and ultimately help more horses. The funding is greatly needed and will help us continue to serve horses retiring from Ohio racetracks,” said Anna Ford, New Vocation Program Director.

The Ohio HBPA donation comes during New Vocations’ 25-year anniversary of operations in Ohio. With seven facilities in Kentucky, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the program has grown into the largest racehorse adoption organization in the country. Its mission to rehabilitate, retrain and rehome retired racehorses has led to the placement of over 6,000 horses. New Vocations serves over 40 racetracks and focuses on working directly with owners and trainers in need of racehorse aftercare options. To learn more about the program, visit www.newvocations.org.

About the Ohio HBPA: The Ohio HBPA is a multi-jurisdictional, benevolent and trade association. It provides financial assistance to members in need, educational and informational programs, health fairs, social events, services to members, representation before the Ohio General Assembly and the Ohio State Racing Commission, and negotiates contracts and resolves disputes with tracks.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Complete Starts Information and Top Horses by Jockey, Trainer, Owner, now Available on equibase.com

Equibase Company today announced the expansion of racing statistics available on equibase.com with the addition of complete starts information for every jockey, trainer and owner as well as the top horses ridden, trained or owned, respectively, by each person.

In addition to the statistical expansion, equibase.com has also transitioned to a responsive design technology to enhance the user experience when viewing the data from a mobile device.

“Fans now have easy access to the detailed history of every single start for jockeys, trainers and owners,” said Jason Wilson, president and chief operating officer for Equibase. “This comprehensive data can now be viewed in a more user-friendly way through our responsive site, regardless of whether individuals are using a desktop, tablet or phone.”

Complete lifetime starts information for jockeys, trainers and owners can be accessed by year and are searchable and sortable by the following categories: track name, race date, race type, purse, horse name, and finish position.

Individual profile pages for jockeys, trainers and owners now offers a “Top Horses” section that provides the Top 20 horses lifetime (ranked by purse earnings) that the person rode, conditioned or owned. Users also have the option to view the Top 20 horses by year and to rank the data by other categories.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sunshine Millions a "Huge Success," Sees $900K Handle Increase

Hallandale Beach – 2017 Sunshine Millions Classic, the last race of the day, Hy Riverside, longshot Nauset Beach and heavy-favorite Awesome Slew battle down to the wire, nip and tuck, head to head, in a super tight photo finish! And the winner…

Hy Riverside trained by Antonio Sano, owned by Mar Racing Stable and expertly ridden by jockey Jose Ortiz.

The perfect finish to a thrilling day of Florida-bred championship racing at Gulfstream Park.

In the winner’s circle light bulbs were flashing, and high-fives were flying. Handle for the 2017 Sunshine Millions jumped from $13,403,368 in 2016 to $14,309,524. A healthy 6.761% increase.

But the real winners were Florida-based owners, trainers, and breeders.

Bill White, President of the Florida HBPA, who for many years participated as a trainer in this benchmark event, was impressed with the quality of races and crowd participation.

“Huge, huge success,” he said. “Better than we expected. I’m thrilled we could keep the races as Florida Bred races. The FHBPA looks forward to expanding and supporting racing opportunities like this one for Florida-breds in the future.”

For those unfamiliar with the background story, the 2017 Sunshine Millions came perilously close to not running, due to the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association (FTBOA) declining to fund and participate at the last moment. But working together with Gulfstream Park the FHBPA struck a deal in which not only would the races run, but most importantly they were kept as restricted to Florida-breds.

A very competitive mix of Florida-breds showed up to battle for $600,000 in total purse money, with the Sunshine Classic purse totaling $200,000.

Sunshine Millions winners were:

Filly and Mare Turf: Family Meeting by General Quarters, trained by Thomas Proctor, owned by Glen Hill Farms and ridden by Jose Lezcano.

Distaff Sprint: Mia Torri by Sky Mesa, trained by Jorge Navarro, owned by Phillip Sagan and ridden by Javier Castellano.

Sprint: Early Entry by Keyed Entry, trained by Kathleen O’Connell, owned by Tommy Roberts Racing Stable LLC and ridden by Paco Lopez.

Turf: Our Way by Keyed Tizway, trained by Harold James Bond, owned by William L. Clifton Jr. and ridden by John Velazquez.

Classic: Hy Riverside by Macho Uno, trained by Antonio Sano, owned by Mar Racing Stable. and ridden by Jose Ortiz.