September 2016 Newsletter Available

newsletter2016 9The September 2016 edition of the Horsemen's Newsletter is now online and available for download. To view this edition click herearrow

The Horsemen's Newsletter is published monthly by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and is mailed to each licensed owner and trainer in the state of Maryland.


TOBA Concierge Service Provides Valuable Resource To Owners

If you own a Thoroughbred and are taking it to a racetrack or to a sale where you’ve never been before, you probably have a dozen questions.

Who do you call to get stalls? Where should you stay? Where should you eat? How do you get a box seat at the track? Do you need a rental car, a car service or are taxis readily available?

Like the old movie line asks: Who you gonna call?

The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and Fasig-Tipton have joined together to create the TOBA Owners Concierge Program. It is a service dedicated to providing owners with superior customer service.

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Revamped Counseling Program Helping Maryland Horsemen

The physical demands that horsemen face are well known to those familiar with the industry. Long hours, hard labor, and non-stop care for our equine athletes can not only affect a horsemen’s physical health and stability, but their mental well-being too. That is why MTHA in partnership with Maryland Jockey Club has placed a renewed interest in the counseling and mental health services offered to horsemen and backstretch workers, and the results have been remarkable.

Spearheading these efforts at Maryland tracks is Counseling Administrator Jessica Hammond. Jessica attended Towson University for her undergraduate studies and then the University of Baltimore for post grad work in clinical psychology. However, her lifelong work with horses and experience on the backside is what allows Jessica to excel at identifying the sometimes unique problems found only on a racetrack backstretch.

“When I saw the ad for this position, I knew [a career] in the psychology/racing intersection was a unique and amazing opportunity. It was a perfect fit for me,” said Jessica.

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MRMA Scholarships Applications Being Accepted

scholarship-booksApplications for the Maryland Racing Media Association’s 2016 scholarship program are being accepted through Sept. 30. Click here to download.

With the support of industry donors and organizations, MRMA has distributed approximately $25,000 annually to scholarship recipients over the past decade. Those interested in applying must either be backstretch employees, work on a Thoroughbred farm or with an equine vet clinic in Maryland.

Submissions need to include an employer’s letter of recommendation and a second reference from an individual who is a licensed or recognized member of the Maryland racing industry. 

The scholarships will be distributed at an event hosted by MRMA sometime in the fall.

For more infomration, contact Ted Black at (301) 459-4408.

Setting the Standard for Backstretch Health

In its first year of existence the new MTHA health program has provided a level of health care unprecedented on a race track backside. The program, at its inception, aimed to provide essential health services for horsemen and backstretch workers. Needless to say, it has hit its mark. Even more, new services have been implemented throughout the year resulting in a comprehensive health system that goes above and beyond simply caring for injuries and illness.

The new health system, a cooperative effort between the MTHA and the Maryland Jockey Club, employs a team of on-site doctors from the renowned Medstar Sports Medicine program, along with a group of MTHA administrators who, for years, have work tirelessly to provide health services for horsemen and backstretch workers.

Dr. Kelly Ryan is one of the physicians from the Medstar team and has nothing but praise for the program in its first year. “Other racetracks are looking at our system as a model for their own [new health initiatives].”

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Maryland State Fair Trainer Bonus Money Doubles

When horsemen arrive at the Timonium fairgrounds for the 10-day meet that begins Friday, Aug. 26, there should be smiles of anticipation on their faces.

Thanks to a $10,000 increase from the Maryland State Fair, the trainers’ bonus money payout for the 2016 meet is being raised to a total of $20,000.

“The Maryland State Fair was looking for a way to add some pizazz and encourage trainers to enter their horses during the State Fair meet,” says Ferris Allen, who serves on both the Maryland State Fair Board and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Board. 

“The State Fair Board asked me what they could do to entice more horses to make the racing go better. I suggested an increase to the trainers’ bonus, which had been $10,000 for a long time. 

They made the decision and left the particulars up to me. I sat down with Georganne [MJC racing secretary Georganne Hale] and we came up with the plan that would benefit as many trainers as we could.” 

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