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April 27, 2012

Contact: Cathy O’Meara, (859) 224-2702
 
ROAP Elects New Executive Board, Participates in ARCI Annual Conference
 
The Racing Officials Accreditation Program (ROAP) elected its 2012-2014 executive board during its April 24 board meeting, which was held in Oklahoma City and hosted by Remington Park.
 
Hugh Gallagher, executive director of the Delaware Harness Racing Commission, will serve as chairman, and Frank Lamb, retired executive director of the Wyoming Racing Commission and current chair of ROAP’s Steward Advisory Committee, will serve as vice chairman. Current secretary Wendy Davis, associate coordinator of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program, and treasurer Kristin Hix, legal associate representing The Jockey Club, were re-elected.
 
ROAP coordinator Cathy O’Meara reported that the organization is moving closer to its goal of having all of the stewards and judges officiating racing in the United States accredited through the organization.
 
“Currently, 99% of the United States flat racing handle is generated by tracks with at least one accredited steward in the stand and 72% of that handle is overseen by three accredited stewards,” she said. “In harness racing, 72% of all meets have at least one accredited steward in the stand and 50% of all the racing meets have all three judges accredited. Additionally, all National Steeplechase Association meets have accredited stewards officiating.”
 
In addition to the board meeting, 35 participants representing seven states, Canada and Jamaica attended a 16-hour continuing education program, which integrated steward-specific programming and participation at a number of sessions during the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) annual meeting in Oklahoma City.
 
“It’s invaluable to get people together from different areas of the country, as well as those with varying regulatory responsibilities, to share their ideas and perspectives,” said O’Meara.
 
ROAP’s Steward Advisory Committee members Eddie Arroyo, Frank Lamb and Hugh Gallagher hosted a panel session focusing on film review and the adjudication of racing infractions for the RCI meeting attendees. Working stewards and judges participating in the CE were on hand to give their insight into the events on the track and the decision-making process used in determining the actions to be taken.

The committee also took an active role in the RCI Model Rules process. After extensive research on the rules regarding the use of cheek pieces in a number of foreign countries, the committee proposed a definition of and new language for allowing the use of cheek pieces in flat racing in the U.S. Additionally, a well-crafted definition of “paper trainer” was proposed. Both the rule allowing cheek pieces and the definition were adopted.
 
ROAP, which receives primary funding from The Jockey Club and is based in its Kentucky office, is a 501(c) (6) organization whose board of directors is made up of representatives from 18 industry organizations and eight at-large representatives. Stewards and judges receive their accreditation and continuing education credits through this program. The website address for ROAP is horseracingofficials.com.
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