Challenge: Meetings Recap

Horsemen attend Racing Safety & Welfare Forum and Racing Committee meeting.

Q-Racing Journal

Prairie Meadows was host to the Racing Safety and Welfare Forum.

On Friday, Prairie Meadows hosted the Racing Safety & Welfare Forum and Racing Committee meeting.

The morning hours were occupied by a panel of industry leaders. Each gave an informative update on their respective organization’s efforts before the floor was opened up to questions from the audience.

The panelists included:

Rich Wilcke, moderator
Terry Meyocks, National Manager of the Jockeys’ Guild
Dr. Dionne Benson, Executive Director of RMTC
Harold “Hal” Handel, The Jockey Club
Jamie Haydon, The Jockey Club
Michael Kilpack, Organization of Racetrack Investigators
Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance
Ed Martin, Racing Commissioners International President
Dr. Keith Soring, American Association of Equine Practitioners Representative

Each panelist discussed the recent efforts and developments coming from their respective organizations in the past year. Among the many topics discussed were major trends in horse racing, the need for increased insurance for jockeys, the effectiveness of increased ORI security at major events, and an update on recent advancements from RMTC.

During the lunch hour, the participants of the AQHYA National Youth Racing Experience were brought up to introduce themselves, along with a slideshow of photos from their experiences so far.

At the Racing Committee meeting held in the afternoon, discussions focused on potential changes to the Multiple Medication Violation System and updates on the Challenge program.

The Multiple Medication Violation System was launched this year in an attempt to address the common complaint that repeat violators of medication rules are not sufficiently punished for positive drug tests associated with horses they train or own.

The MMVS used as its model the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s (ARCI) model rules multiple violation system, which was introduced in 2013. The MMVS is based on a point system, similar to points on a drivers license, and sets penalties for horses, trainers and owners for positive drug tests associated with their horses. As its name indicates, MMVS penalties increase in severity as a horse, trainer or owner accumulates points and multiple offenses on their record. The MMVS is also designed to impose serious consequences for violators of medication rules involving Class 1, Class 2 or Category A drugs as defined by ARCI. The system is not intended to be a substitute for the current penalty systems used by racing jurisdictions.

Under discussion during the meeting was adjusting the penalties that owners receive for multiple violations from AQHA suspensions to fines. This was the only Committee recommendation and will go to the AQHA Council for discussion.

The Bank of America Racing Challenge this year hosted 62 regional races, 36 bonus Challenge races and 16 Maiden Challenge races. Director of the Racing Challenge Darrell Hare reported that nominations and entries in the program are doing well.

The Bank of America Challenge Championships are October 18 at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. Stay tuned to complete coverage from the Q-Racing Journal at