Track superintendents and their staffs from around North America are set to meet at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races on June 23-25 for a full schedule of educational panels as part of Track Superintendents’ Field Day. A complete agenda for the event has been announced, with award-winning speaker, author and farmer Jolene Brown set as the keynote speaker. The event welcomes track superintendents and their staffs from all horse racing disciplines, and to that end one of Standardbred racing’s most recognizable names, John Campbell, has been added as a speaker.
Campbell recently retired after a career that included more than 10,000 wins and nearly $300 million in earnings to rank as harness racing’s all-time leading driver. Campbell is now president and CEO of The Hambletonian Society, which manages the sport’s most prestigious races, including the Hambletonian Stakes that Campbell won a record six times.
“The Track Supers’ event is something I wasn’t aware of until recently,” Campbell said. “But I was quite intrigued by it, especially with everything going on in racing today.
“As a driver, I’ve obviously got an opinion on what would be best for our tracks,” he added, “and I’m also interested in getting feedback from the track supers, so I’m looking forward to speaking and listening.”
Another icon in the Standardbred industry, Gary Wolf, also plans to attend.
“I’ve only missed the Track Supers’ Field Day once, and that was because my flight got cancelled,” said the longtime track super at tracks including Hoosier Park and The Meadowlands and who now is track manager at White Birch Farm in Allentown, New Jersey. “It’s a great event, and I hope that more guys from Standardbred tracks can attend, but it’s always tough to get them away from their tracks because they have a great sense of responsibility to make sure everything is running smoothly.”
The agenda includes panels of industry professionals covering emergency horse ambulance response, extreme weather, irrigation technology, equipment budgets, a track supers roundtable and more.
Other speakers include: Terry Meyocks of The Jockeys’ Guild, Chris McErlean of Penn Gaming, Sal Sinatra of the Maryland Jockey Club and Derron Heldt of Prairie Meadows.
Although the majority of the event will be the serious business of track surfaces, attendees will also have the opportunity for an outing prior to the conference to play golf, visit a winery or tour historic Harpers Ferry.
Registration is completely free for this event, with the only cost to attendees being travel expenses and hotel, which is offered at a discounted rate. Registration is free thanks to a significant list of sponsors, including title sponsor Equine Equipment. In total, more than 25 sponsors are attached to the event.
“We know budgets are tight at tracks, so we are pleased to be able to provide free registration for the Track Supers’ Field Day because nothing in this industry is more important than the safety of our horses and riders and drivers,” said Roy Smith, founder of the event. “This is a great opportunity for the men and women who work around the clock at racetracks to get together and share ideas and learn about new technology and equipment.
“We couldn’t do this without the support of all the sponsors and the gracious hosting of Charles Town and their Track Superintendent Doug Bowling, so we are very thankful to them,” added Smith.
Among the sponsors are numerous horsemen’s groups, Spendthrift Farm, Monmouth Park, Indiana Grand, Churchill Downs, Arlington Park, Duralock, Horsemen’s Track and Equipment Inc., Double R Manufacturing and title sponsor Equine Equipment.
“This year has brought record sponsorship to the event, with over 20 new sponsors showing the industry is clearly standing in support of this dedicated group,” said Steve Andersen, founder of Equine Equipment. “This group should be applauded for organizing and producing their own event. They were ahead of their time in networking and helping improve racing surfaces worldwide, and I am honored they have allowed me to work with them.”
The Track Superintendents’ Field Day was first held in 2002 and has rotated around the country since then while becoming the go-to event for track supers and their staffs. For more information, go to tracksupers.com or call 877-905-0004.