Content Providers on National HBPA Agenda

The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will address distribution of racing content, equine drug testing, and health insurance at its summer convention.

The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association will address distribution of racing content, equine drug testing, and health insurance during workshop discussions at its summer convention scheduled for July 19-22 in Williamsburg, Va.

The convention will be held in concert with the July 21 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) at nearby Colonial Downs. The workshops will be held July 20, and the full National HBPA board meeting July 22, at the Williamsburg Lodge.

Workshops at National HBPA conventions have been lively in the past given the subject matter. During this year’s winter convention, horsemen discussed the results of a study that indicated environmental contamination can result from simply putting a horse in a stall; a discussion on simulcast pricing models also raised some eyebrows.

“The workshops we presented during our winter convention were very effective,” National HBPA president Joe Santanna said in a statement. “So much so, that I feel strongly this technique of bringing together our horsemen and horsewomen and key industry experts for healthy dialogue will be a permanent fixture at our meetings.”

The content-provider issue came to the forefront earlier this year when Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment Corp. formed TrackNet Media Group, which buys and sells signals. The National HBPA will tackle the topic in a panel titled, “The Debate Between Racing’s Content Providers and Distributors: Where Do We Go From Here?”

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Scheduled panelists are Scott Daruty, president of TrackNet Media; Charles Champion, president and chief executive officer of; David Nathanson, senior vice president and general manager of TVG; and Steven Mitchell, vice president and chief financial officer of Woodbine Entertainment Group. Bob Reeves, co-chairman of the National HBPA Wagering and Alternative Gaming Information Committee will moderate.

The drug-testing workshop, to be moderated by National HBPA Medication Committee chairman Kent Stirling, is titled “Effective Testing … A Moving Target.” Dr. Thomas Tobin of the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Center will discuss the history of environmental contamination; Dr. Steven Barker, executive director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, will provide an update on the RMTC; Dr. Rick Sams, director of the University of Florida racing laboratory, will tackle TCO2 and anabolic steroid testing; Dan Fick, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club, will provide an update on last fall’s Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit; and Peter Burnett, chairman of the Virginia Racing Commission and the Association of Racing Commissioners International, will offer a regulatory point of view on drug testing.

The workshop titled “Health Insurance Options for Horsemen and Jockeys--Now Within Reach” will be moderated by Tom Metzen Sr. and Tom Metzen Jr., chairman of the National HBPA Insurance Committee and National HBPA insurance adviser, respectively. Speakers are Santanna; Robert Colton, director of the Delaware Jockeys Association; Marty Maline, executive director of the Kentucky HBPA; and John Carder, president of DBGC Insurance Solutions.