ROAP On Call Steward Available at Challenge Championships

November 17, 2010

The Racing Officials Accreditation Program (ROAP), in conjunction with AQHA and Fair Grounds Race Course, announced today that a ROAP on-call steward will be on duty for the 2010 Bank of America Challenge Championships at Fair Grounds on Friday, November 19.

The event is the culmination of more than 60 regional Challenge races contested over the last year. The November 19 race card will feature six Challenge races and six undercard Challenge Stakes races. The highlightof the evening will be the $350,000 Bank of America Racing Challenge Championship (G1) contested for 3-year-olds and up over 440 yards.

The ROAP On Call Stewards Program, created in 2009, makes a ROAP-accredited racing official available during telecasts of major racing events to explain the rules of racing if an unusual event occurs in a race.

Dan Fick, associate steward for the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, will be the on-call steward during the Bank of America Challenge Championships. Fick is the former executive vice president and executivedirector of The Jockey Club and the former director of racing for AQHA.

"We are excited that a ROAP on-call steward will be available again this year at the Challenge Championships," said Trey Buck, AQHA executive director of racing. "It is beneficial to have a media-trained racing official on standby during the telecast to explain the rules of racing should an unusual incident occur."

Stan Bowker, the chairman of ROAP, explained that the on-call steward is not there to render a decision. "The on-call steward is impartial and is there solely to explain to the viewing audience and reporters the nature of the incident, the applicable rules of racing and the process by which stewards determine a call as it pertains to the incident in question," he said.

A ROAP on-call steward is available upon request to tracks, racing commissions and broadcast networks at no cost.

ROAP, which receives primary funding from The Jockey Club and is based in its Kentucky office, is a 501(c) (6) organization whose board of directors is made up of representatives from 18 industry organizations and eight at-large representatives. Stewards and judges receive their accreditation and continuing education credits through this program.

The ROAP website features information about the accreditation process, a comprehensive listing of accredited racing officials, job openings and upcoming events. Contact Cathy O'Meara at (859) 224-2702 or contactus@horseracingofficials.com for more information.

The world's largest equine breed organization, AQHA started the Bank of America Challenge Program in 1992 to provide more racing opportunities and bigger purses for older American Quarter Horses than any other program throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America.The Bank of America Racing Challenge is the richest and most successful program in American Quarter Horse racing today - a championship series developed for the "World's Fastest Horse."