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Friday, March 18, 2011

National HBPA 2011 Winter Convention Underway

The National HBPA's 2011 Winter Convention in Hot Springs, Arkansas got underway yesterday with a welcome reception sponsored by the Arkansas and Oklahoma HBPAs at the host hotel, the Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa. The convention will continue through Monday, March 21.

On tap today are a number of meetings of committees of the National HBPA Board of Directors, as well as three educational speaker forums. Those panels will be:

"Working with your Track Partner to Monitor and Verify the Purse Account" 
As Ronald Reagan once said: “Trust but Verify” when dealing with the USSR.  Perhaps horsemen’s relationships with their track partners are less icy.  Nonetheless, it is critical for horsemen’s groups to understand modern verification approaches to ensure that purse accounts are properly funded.

Moderator:
Bob Reeves, Chair, NHBPA Wagering and Alternative Gaming Committee; Ex. Vice President, Ohio HBPA

Panelists:

Dave Basler, Executive Director, Ohio HBPA

Craig Gegorek, Gegorek & Company, P.A.

Eric Jackson, General Manager, Oaklawn Jockey Club

Marty Maline, Executive Director, Kentucky HBPA

Bill Walmsley, Secretary/Treasurer, National HBPA, President, Arkansas HBPA

“Modern Approaches to Successfully Managing Equine Partnerships”
Joe Pontrella, a top tax and business consultant to the Thoroughbred racing industry, discusses the key steps horsemen should take when launching or maintaining an equine racing partnership.  

Moderator:
Joe Santanna, President & Chairman, National HBPA; Co-Managing Partner, Commonwealth New Era Racing, LLC

Panelist:
Joseph Pontrella, Equine Tax Consultant

"Education and Opportunity on the Backstretch"
An exploration of how we can raise awareness of the existing educational and financial aid programs currently available to horsemen and their families.  

Co-Moderators:
Dr. Reid McLellan, Executive Director, The Elite Program, Inc.
Robin Richards, Chair, NHBPA Education Committee; President, Virginia HBPA and 1st Vice-President, NHBPA

Panelists:
Tim Capps - Executive-in-Residence, University of Louisville Equine Industry Program
Wendy Davis Associate Coordinator, University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program
Elisabeth Jensen, President & Executive Director, Race for Education
Dr. Augusta A. Julian, President/CEO of Bluegrass Community and Technical College

The final educational speaker forum of the convention will be held on Saturday morning by the Medication Committee. It will be:

“Revisiting the McKinsey Report 20 Years Later”
In the late 1980s The Jockey Club commissioned the McKinsey & Company Inc. to perform a study of American pari-mutuel equine drug testing with the goal of developing a national strategic plan.  The report was presented on May 11, 1991, almost exactly 20 years ago.  The report covered virtually all aspects of drug testing, including animal selection, sample collection and documentation, research and technology management, laboratory operations, quality assurance, and penalties.  The report also addressed developing a model rule book, national centers of excellence and the matter of track and racing commission oversight.  The report was a full 20 pages with six attached appendices.    
The panel will review the McKinsey report and its recommendations 20 years later, with particular attention to the report’s  suggestion that the authorities should,  1/ "establish(ed) threshold levels for any drug allowed to be present on race day",  and also 2/ "carry out appropriate research to develop tests/methods for additional known drugs and to set trace levels for therapeutic drugs used in training", and 3/ “a consistent system of penalties proportional to the offense should be established based on categorization of drugs groups ranked by degree of influence on performance. In addition, drug infraction responsibility should be extended to include the trainer, vet and owner”.
The panel will review the McKinsey report with special focus on areas of interest to horsemen, and conclude with possible suggestions for the industry.
 
Moderator:
Kent Stirling, Chair, Medication Committee, Executive Director, Florida HBPA

Panelists:
Dr. Steven Barker, MS, Ph.D., Professor, Comparative Biomedical Sciences; Director, Analytical Systems Laboratory; Equine Medication Surveillance Laboratory and The Laboratory for Drug Residue Studies, State Chemist, Louisiana State Racing Commission

Dr. Rich Harden – Equine Medical Director, Virginia Racing Commission

Dr. Don Shields – Equine Practitioner in Southern California, Founder of Winner’s Circle Ranch, an equine rehabilitation facility, Founder and CEO of Statison Medical 

Dr. Thomas Tobin, Professor, Dept of Veterinary Science, Gluck Equine Research Center and Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky & National HBPA Veterinary Advisor

Saturday's agenda will also include more committee meetings. Convention attendees will get to enjoy the annual Arkansas HBPA Dinner Dance on Saturday evening.

Sunday brings more committee meetings, with the final being the Executive Committee meeting. Then convention attendees will be taken to Oaklawn Park for a buffet and afternoon at the races sponsored by the Oaklawn Jockey Club.

The convention will conclude on Monday morning with a meeting of the National HBPA's Board of Directors.

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