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National HBPA Summer Convention planning finalized

June 26, 2009     E-mail this page to a friend!

Final preparations have been put in place for the 2009 National HBPA Summer Convention scheduled for June 30 through July 3 at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

The busy schedule of committee and business meetings will be highlighted by the election of National HBPA President and Chairman and the four Regional Vice Presidents, to be held immediately after the Board meeting on July 3rd.

As always, the National HBPA summer gathering will focus on key issues affecting horsemen. The National HBPA has gathered expert speakers from across the country for a series of three forums as well as a medication update featuring Drs. Steven Barker & Thomas Tobin covering new research in the area of environmental contaminants.

National HBPA 2009 Summer Speaker Forums

June 30 – July 3, 2009
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center; Shepherdstown, WV
(Note: speakers may be subject to change)

Wednesday, July 1, 9:00–11:00 am
“It Takes a Village—A Ground Level Look at Backstretch Support Systems”
Every day, thousands of professionals and volunteers assist backstretch workers to cope with their daily lives. This forum gives a perspective from both the provider and recipient points of view.

Richard Riedel, Executive Director, Kentucky Racing Health & Welfare Fund
MaryAnn O’Connell, Executive Director, Washington HBPA
Dr. Fred Willis, Medical Advisor, Louisiana HBPA
Chaplain David Dow, Chaplain, Penn National Race Course, Race Track Chaplaincy of America
G. Wesley Jones, LCSW, Delaware Park Backstretch Employee Assistance Program
Jennifer Hoert, Executive Director, Backside Learning Center, Churchill Downs
Chris McCarron, Executive Director-Instructor, North American Racing Academy
Steve Stults, Executive Director, Indiana HBPA

Thursday, July 2, 9:00–10:30 am
“Life After Slots&mdashA Cautionary Tale”
When new forms of gaming, such as table games, are introduced to racinos, how do horsemen ensure that they continue to receive their fair share?

Dr. Richard Thalheimer, President, Thalheimer Research Associates, Inc.
Joe Santanna, President and Chairman, National HBPA / President Pennsylvania HBPA
Bessie Gruwell, Executive Director, Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association
Melinda Tucker, Director of Racetrack Gaming, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

Thursday, July 2, 10:30 am–Noon
“Legal Forum: The Growing Trend Toward Exclusionary Practices”
As some tracks move farther away from their racing roots, management teams with non-racing backgrounds have applied punitive exclusionary actions on horsemen. Is this a growing trend? And how can tracks’ private property rights be properly balanced with horsemen’s due process rights.

Douglas McSwain, General Counsel, National HBPA
Randy Funkhouser, President, Charles Town HBPA (Exclusions)
Robert Jeffries, President, Tampa Bay HBPA
Rick Hiles, President, Kentucky HBPA

Joe Santanna, President and Chairman, National HBPA:
“Given all that is happening in our industry, it is vitally important for our member horsemen to remain engaged and informed about issues that affect them each day. We all look forward to hearing from the great collection of expert speakers we’ll have on board. Our thanks also go out to our West Virginia horsemen—and in particular Charles Town HBPA President Randy Funkhouser—for agreeing to host this convention and for all their hard work.”

The National HBPA is the largest horsemen’s representative association with over 30,000 affiliated horsemen across North America. AFLAC, Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies,, and Horseman Labor Solutions proudly sponsor the National HBPA.

Convention registration and hotel information can be found on the NHBPA homepage by linking to: