Racing Free Creates Integrity Fund
Racing Free changes focus to integrity fund.
October 14, 2014
Racing Free has worked to encourage a greater level of integrity of racing since 2012. Beginning with the Incentive programs, the movement built a group of horsemen and fans working together for the future of racing.
In September 2014, Racing Free began meeting with many industry leaders and track owners/managers to partner on security and testing measures. The decision was made that Racing Free will assume a new approach which will seek out and manage sponsorship donations into a fund established to assist tracks and commissions with developing more stringent ways to protect our animals and investments. As a result, the Racing Free Integrity Fund was created.
Racing Free will provide a yearly income to the Integrity Fund and 100 percent of all donations and sponsorships will be utilized for the protection of horses, jockeys, owners, trainers and the betting public.
“The fund allows us to accept applications, if you will, from all racing jurisdictions requesting a matched monetary amount,” says co-founder Leslie McKinney.
Conversations are underway with Remington Park management and OQHRA to establish how to best represent the horsemen for the 2015 meets and to create measures intended to prove their desire to protect the integrity of racing. Additional partnerships have been forged with the Texas Racing Commission and Lone Star Park.
“The Racing Free Integrity Fund is a perfect example of the willingness of horse owners and breeders to push for reform and to provide what all true competitors desire—a level playing field in which the safety and well-being of horses and riders is THE primary consideration. The Texas Racing Commission initiated a new and more stringent security process for the richest races in Texas and Lone Star Park eagerly agreed to participate,” comments Scott Wells, President and General Manager of Remington Park and General Manager of Lone Star Park.
"When we needed additional funding and support for the enhanced procedures, Racing Free offered to match the generous contributions of the AQHA. The result of the collaboration is twofold: First and foremost, it will provide the very highest standards of security and transparency for our marquis races; secondly, it illustrates the willingness of this sport’s major stakeholders to push for ongoing reform,” Wells added.
Most recently Racing Free met with Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and pledged support to assist with the new security measures they will have in place for the Triple Crown races of 2015.
“The Racing Free Integrity Fund is imperative in the quest for a level playing field in racing. It has our total support and Ruidoso Downs is proud to be associated with Racing Free. We look forward to joining with Racing Free in developing additional innovative actions to enhance racing’s integrity for our fans and the horses,” states Shaun Hubbard, Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino Manager.
“Racing Free is evolving into a stronger program. There will no longer be incentive payments because we believe there is a more effective way to make an impact,” continues McKinney. “We are already pledging our own money annually to provide this sort of assistance and now we are asking that others pledge to do the same so that we can make a bigger impact nation-wide.”
For more information on the Racing Free Integrity Fund and sponsorship opportunities, contact Micah or Leslie McKinney at 325-248-5220 or visit www.racingfree.com.
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