AQHA statement regarding Hialeah races.
May 26, 2017
The race meet at Hialeah Park near Miami, scheduled to begin May 31, will not be recognized by the American Quarter Horse Association.
According to Hialeah Park’s website, the track is scheduled to run races twice a day Wednesday through Sunday beginning on May 31 and closing on June 25.
AQHA has sanctioned previous meets at Hialeah, beginning in 2009 and running through 2016. These meets met AQHA’s guidelines, set forth in the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations, to approve official American Quarter Horse races.
“AQHA’s mission statement holds the welfare of the American Quarter Horse at the top of our priorities,” said AQHA Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber. “Consequently, the racing rules and regulations of our Association, and that of our affiliates, exist to protect the safety of the animals and the integrity of the sport. We have no evidence that these rules and regulations will be followed or promoted by Hialeah Park or by the South Florida Quarter Horse Association, a newly formed group that is not affiliated with AQHA. As such, we are concerned for those who are participating in the races and for the wagering public.”
Given these concerns, AQHA will not recognize these races unless the guidelines are clearly satisfied. AQHA will continue to work with officials, including AQHA affiliate the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association, to facilitate the return of official Quarter Horse racing in Florida.
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