Q-Racing Blog: Tailwind in 2019

It's time to build positive momentum for racing.

It's time to build positive momentum for racing.

Tailwinds could be building for American Quarter Horse racing in 2019.

Positive signs abound. The top stakes horses returning to race in 2019 is impressive, there are an encouraging number of young horsemen – especially trainers – in the mix, while tracks have expanding stakes schedules and building facility improvements that will entice more patrons.

It’s not that racing does not have challenges. We have plenty, but there is reason to look at the new year with optimism. We must continue to press forward with renewed vigor. However, gains exist and should be built upon in this year and years to come. Our quest never ends. It is a continual day-by-day process.

Here is what AQHA Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber says:

“At AQHA, we are looking forward to great things in 2019. Several things reflect positive changes in our Quarter Horse racing industry leading to this optimism. For instance, after working with the ARCI and with individual commissions, we have achieved greater uniformity amongst the jurisdictions regarding medication issues. This is a big plus for horsemen, who can now travel across state lines knowing they are facing a similar set of rules. More and more states are implementing hair testing and other measures aimed at increasing the integrity of the sport and creating deterrents for those seeking an unfair advantage. I strongly believe that these are measures that help support a better industry for all of us.

“On the economic front, the total for all racing (domestic, Canada and Mexico) show increases both in purses offered, and in total pari-mutuel handle in 2018 and the upward trend should continue. Furthermore, we are in the midst of accepting race records from Brazil and will be adding the information to our AQHA records, so that the data is reflected in our horse’s pedigrees. Finally, this coming year we will continue the conversation with our friends in Argentina about having AQHA-recognized races in their country. This is exciting news and speaks volumes about the love of the American Quarter Horse, and specifically, of Quarter Horse racing.

“Another positive note: The Bank of America Racing Challenge is looking forward to resuming a full roster of regional races in 2019. You can find the schedule at www.aqha.com/racing. Then, in October, the Challenge Championships will, for the first time, be conducted at The Downs at Albuquerque and we are excited about going there.”

Personal responsibility and becoming involved are key to long-term success. There are an overwhelming majority of good, responsible people who adore the horse in Quarter Horse racing. Stay focused and keep on moving forward.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit www.aqharacing.com.