The California Horse Racing Board will webcast its March 22 meeting at Bay Meadows and will consider continuing the experiment at subsequent monthly meetings.
"We want to provide this opportunity for Internet users everywhere to watch and listen to our meetings," said executive director Ingrid Fermin. "This should give them a better understanding of the process and we hope a greater appreciation for the efforts of our racing commissioners and staff to effectively regulate a complex industry and protect the public.
"The program relies heavily on existing equipment and technologies located at the meeting locations, so that is a variable we will need to deal with. We should learn a great deal from the Bay Meadows experiment. Then, subject to how that goes and a determination of the cost of the program, we will decide whether we can continue webcasting future meetings."
Mory Atashkar, the CHRB chief information officer, has been working with Mihir Desai, vice president of operations for 3Di Systems, for streaming of CHRB meetings live over the Internet. The March 22 webcast can be accessed through the CHRB's own website (http://chrb.ca.gov). This and any future webcasts will be included in a searchable archive on the CHRB Website for later viewing.
Chairman Richard B. Shapiro said the webcast is part of the CHRB's "ongoing quest to provide full transparency of our actions and to better engage the public, participants and stakeholders in the discussion and decision-making process. We are fortunate to have Mory and his staff in the IT department to undertake this endeavor."
Working with Bernie Thurman, general manager of Bay Meadows, and the racetrack IT staff, Desai and Atashkar completed a successful trial run-through of the system on Thursday. If the webcasting program continues, similar test runs will be performed at the other meeting locations.