National HBPA Sets Convention Agenda

The National HBPA has set the agenda for its 2009 winter convention in Florida.

from the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association

The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association will discuss aftercare for racehorses, equine medication and drug-testing thresholds, and synthetic surfaces during its winter convention Jan. 30-Feb. 2 in Hollywood, Fla.

The winter convention at the Hollywood Beach Marriott is being hosted by the Florida HBPA for the first time in many years. There will be other discussions and presentations on the current economic downturn, immigration, the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Group, safety and welfare, and model rules for the Thoroughbred industry.

Forums set for the convention are:

“From the Backstretch to Back Yard: Practical Solutions on Managing the Retired Racehorse,” set for Jan. 30 from 9-11 a.m. EDT. The panel will be moderated by National HBPA chief executive officer Remi Bellocq. Panelists are Janice Brooks, secretary/treasurer of the Illinois HBPA; Anna Ford; program director of New Vocations Horse Adoptions and author of “Beyond the Track – Retraining the Thoroughbred”; Herb Moelis, president of Thoroughbred Charities of America; Diana Pikulski, executive director of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation; and Laura Plato, operations director of the National HBPA and representative to the Unwanted Horse Coalition.

“What’s on the Horizon in Medication Testing and Thresholds,” set for Jan. 31 from 9-11 a.m. The panel will be moderated by Kent Stirling, executive director of the Florida HBPA and chairman of the National HBPA Medication Committee. Panelists are Dr. Thomas Tobin of the Gluck Equine Research Center and Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky; Dr. George Maylin, director of the New York Racing Association Drug Testing and Research Program, Cornell University; and Dr. Rick Sams, program director of the Florida Racing Laboratory, University of Florida.

“Synthetic versus Dirt—A Track Superintendent’s Viewpoint,” scheduled for Feb. 1 from 10:15 a.m.-noon. The moderator will be Dr. Michael “Mick” Peterson, Libra Foundation professor, College of Engineering, University of Maine. Speakers are Joe King, president of Joseph H. King Co.; Tom McLaughlin, track superintendent at Tampa Bay Downs; Mike Young, track superintendent at Keeneland; and Irwin Driedger, director of Thoroughbred racing services for Woodbine Entertainment Group.