Welcome to the Arizona Horseman’s Benevolent & Protective Association’s (AZHBPA) website. Please take a few moments to browse our website and learn more about what we do.

Please also visit our website regularly for updated postings, which include newsletters, photos, standings, board information, calendar and benefit information. Please contact us through email or call our offices at 602-942-3336 with any questions or for additional information specific to your needs.

There off and running! Turf Paradise opened their 2019 / 2020 meet on October 12th. Opening day was packed with racing fans at Turf Paradise, with the first 3,000 guests receiving a Turf Paradise t-shirt. Opening day was capped by the running of the Bienvenidos Stakes for Colts and Geldings Three-year-old and up going 6 ½ Furlongs. The winner was Silver Ride with Denny Velazquez in the irons and Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Owners R 6 Stables, Randy Marriott and Lana Smith! Congratulations to the connections! This was followed up by the October 19th running of the Princess of Palms Stakes, winner was Dreamy Gal with Daniel Vergara in the saddle, Trainer Molly Pearson, owned by John Pendergasat! Congratulations to the winning connections.

Your HBPA Board has been extremely busy this past summer and fall with going thru an Arbitration process with Turf Paradise, which turned into a mediation, that resulted into a Three-year contract between the HBPA and Turf Paradise. This was a very lengthy and exhausting process for all. So be sure and thank your HBPA Board members, staff and attorney Mike Napier for all their hard work!!

Turf Paradise and AZHBPA hosted a welcome back party with a BBQ and karaoke, with Shawn Swartz singing the night away! Everyone had a great time and the party was well attended. We had our first annual Track or Treat at turf Paradise this Halloween! This event was well received with 25 barns participating. Chaplain John served pizza then escorted the 30 kids around to the participating barns to collect their treats! Thanks to all that helped out and to the participating barns! Save November 27th on your calendar this will be the annual Thanksgiving Dinner from 11am to 2pm being held in the clubhouse with Turkey and all the fixings! Sponsored by the HBPA and Turf Paradise. Watch for the announcement in December for details for our kids Christmas party. The HBPA, AQRA and Chaplain John will be hosting a Kids Christmas Party! food will be served by Turf Paradise, Santa will be bringing the kids gifts, fun to be had by all! Please plan to attend, kids attending need to register on Santa’s list at the HBPA office prior December 1!

September 1 was the close of Arizona Downs inaugural meet. Although the meet had some first year challenges it went off fairly well and was well supported by the community! Below are the season ending winners! Congratulations to all the winners!

Leading Owner – Alfredo Asprino
Leading Trainer – Cody Axmaker
Leading Jockey – Kassie Guglielmino
Quarter Horse
Leading Owner – Valerie Velazquez
Leading Trainer – Armando Castellanos
Leading Jockey – Martin Osuna

This is election year for the Board of Directors of the HBPA Board. We are in the process of selecting a Nomination Committee and an Election Committee. The Nomination Committee will be looking for qualified candidates to run for the Board. There will be a General HBPA Membership Meeting on January 11th in the track Kitchen at 11 am. The Nomination Committee will also be excepting nominations from the floor, those nominations will require two seconds. Nominees will have till January 27th to accept or deny their nomination. Accepting nominations must have their packets retuned by January 27th. Ballots will be mailed out by February 21st. Ballots must be returned to the HBPA office by 4 pm on April 7th. Ballots will be counted that evening by the Election Committee.

The HBPA Board is a volunteer position that comes with a lot of responsibility. We need candidates that are eligible to run and fill these spots. If you have an interest or questions please contact the HBPA office and talk with Leroy Gessmann or Wendy Hobson for details.

The HBPA office is trying to get as many members emails as possible, so we can send you emails to keep you informed of what’s going on. If you would send an email to our office saying you would like to be added to our email list, send to azhbpa@outlook.com we will add you to our list.

Happy Holidays to everyone from the HBPA!

One of the first programs of its kind in the country, Rillito Race Track implemented an Equine Wellness Program during the 2019 Winter Meet. The program was a resounding success as there were no horse breakdowns during 96 races at the meet this year.

“A couple years ago as Rillito was opening for the season and surrounded by the Equine herpes virus, we made a statement by creating a protocol that larger tracks followed,” said Mike Weiss, general manager of the 75 year-old track. “Rillito has always been known as an innovative track; and because we are smaller, we can implement protocols and adapt them more effectively. This season we created the Equine Wellness Program, and it paid off.”

Part of the program involved hiringextra veterinarians and pre-vet students working toward a Bachelor of Science in veterinary sciences at the University of Arizona. They received college credit through the Rillito Park Foundation Internship Program, a partnership with the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.

The students watched training and took notes on horses with close observation. The team performed pre-race exams on every horse, held classes with experienced lecturers on nutrition, colic, and other topics that were open to trainers, grooms, and others. There was a “Meet the Steward” session — for trainers, public, jockeys, and students — to learn from the stewards, who explained their roles and provided information, visuals and explanations on disqualifications.

Arizona HBPA E-Newsletter
To read the latest newsletter for the fourth quarter of 2019, click here.

Previous Newsletters
February 2019 | August 2017April 2017March 2017February 2017

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AZHBPA members can send your request to: azhbpa@outlook.com