Paul Bowlinger, the recently-departed Racing Commissioners International executive vice president, Sarah McNaught, and Charla Ann King took top honors at the annual awards dinner of the RCI, the trade association of racing regulators in North America and the Carribean, April 14.
Bowlinger, a resident of Bismarck, N.D., received the association’s highest award, the William May Award, in recognition of his successful work on wagering security initiatives, merging the former National Association of Pari-Mutuel Racing Regulators back into RCI, and his work on ensuring racing integrity at every level of the sport.
“Paul was a 20-year player who put his own money through the window everyday as the lifeblood of the industry we regulate,” said RCI chair Dan Hartman. “Paul entered regulation, not because he needed a job or had an ax to grind, but he wanted to pay back a sport he loved and to ensure integrity for all his friends and colleagues who were the patrons.”
Bowlinger was the executive director of the North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association and also held the position of director of racing for the state of North Dakota. Bowlinger served on the board of both the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and the Winners Federation and as co-chair of a committee of the Grayson-Jockey Club’s Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit.
McNaught, the chair of the Indiana Racing Commission, received the Joan Pew award. The Pew award is awarded each year to a sitting regulator in recognition of “courage, dedication, vision, and vitality.”
“Sarah McNaught has brought strong and principled leadership to the Indiana Racing Commission, helping to make her state a forerunner in the implementation of progressive racing regulation,” RCI president Ed Martin said.
King, the executive director of the Texas Racing Commission, received the Len Foote Award in recognition of her commitment to ensuring racing integrity.
The Len Foote Award is the highest award presented to an executive director. To receive this award, a person must be nominated and selected by a secret ballot of one’s colleagues.