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Racing Officials Accreditation Program

Racing Officials Accreditation Program (6/23/06)

Contact: Emily Holmes (859) 224-2702


Reviewing a survey of racing officials and the continuity of pari-mutuel states’ rules on interference and disqualifications will be major topics on the agenda when the executive committee of the Racing Officials Accreditation Program (ROAP) convenes on Friday, June 30.

Launched in July 2005, ROAP is the expansion of the former Stewards and Judges Accreditation Committee coordinated by the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program and the University of Louisville Equine Industry Program. The program is proceeding with its goal to improve the integrity of racing by accrediting all racing officials, stewards and judges.

“ROAP has received exceptional industry support, which has facilitated our progress,” said Chairman Stan Bowker, executive director of the Virginia Racing Commission. “We’ve accomplished many goals over the past year and have set new goals to focus on for 2006.”

In April, ROAP was incorporated as a 501(C)(6) organization, and a board of directors and officers were elected. “We have an excellent board of directors composed of representatives from the pertinent sectors of the horseracing industry,” Bowker said.

Officers of the board include Bowker; Secretary Wendy Davis, associate coordinator of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program; and Treasurer Dan Fick, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club. The members of the Board are attached.

ROAP has also published a comprehensive textbook titled Racing Officials Resource Guide, edited by Don Clippinger, editorial director of the Thoroughbred Times, which provides observations from some of racing’s most knowledgeable and respected individuals.

“The guide benefits not only racing officials, but anyone who is serious about racing and about learning the sport,” Wendy Davis said.

In addition to increasing the number of accredited racing officials and reviewing states’ interference and disqualifications rules, goals that ROAP has set for 2006 are to produce a “Duties and Responsibilities of Racing Officials” video, complete the directory of racing officials on the ROAP website, and conduct periodic race video reviews as continuing education for working stewards.

To help meet the goals, ROAP board members created four new committees: Recruitment, Internships and Placement; Race Video Analysis; Continuing Education; and Communications/Website.

From its recent survey of accredited stewards and judges, ROAP estimates that 67 percent of stewards are accredited. The continuing education committee is developing new opportunities to help stewards maintain their accreditation, which requires completing 16 hours or two days of continuing education every two years. The following were approved for CE credit in 2006:

  • RCI Conference, March 27-31 (two days of CE credit, informal)
  • Oregon Stewards/Judges CE Seminar and Roundtable, October 3-4 (two days of CE credit, formal)
  • Retama Park, October 9-10 (two days of CE credit, formal)
  • University of Louisville, November 13-14 (two days of CE credit, formal)
  • Arizona Symposium, December 4-7 (two days of CE credit, informal).

The website committee has just completed the online directory of racing officials, which will help match accredited officials with appropriate positions and provide experience opportunities for officials who want to become accredited.

According to Dan Fick, “The ROAP website at serves as an excellent tool for tracks and racing commissions to find qualified staff. It also provides a free service for the posting of help or jobs wanted ads.”

ROAP is currently funded by tuition fees and contributions from participating racing organizations. Long-term funding is enhanced by contributions from sponsoring racetracks, such as The Meadowlands and Monmouth Park, horsemen’s groups, and the sale of educational books and videos. The Racing Officials Resource Guide is available for $30 each or $15 each for orders of five or more.

For more information, please contact Emily Holmes, Racing Officials Accreditation Program, at (859) 224-2702 or

Board of Directors

Eddie Arroyo - Illinois Horse Racing Board
Rogers Beasley - Keeneland Association
Remi Bellocq - HBPA
Ned Bonnie - National Steeplechase Association
Stan Bowker - RCI
Wendy Davis - University of Arizona RTIP
Dan Fick - The Jockey Club
Alan Foreman - THA
Darrell Haire - Jockeys’ Guild
Chip Hastings - USTA
Dr. W. Ted Hill - Veterinary Steward
Kristin Hix - The Jockey Club
Walt Knorpp - AQHA
Frank Lamb - RCI
T.C. Lane - USTA
Bob Lawrence - University of Louisville EIP
David Loregnard - Caribbean Racing Conference
Darrell McHargue - Steward
Nick Nicholson - TRA

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