Harness Horsemen International's annual harness racing meeting continued Friday (Dec. 2) at the Embassy Suites Resort and Spa in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
After the opening roll call, USTA President Phil Langley spoke about the "Back To The Track" promotion slated for July 14, 2012 -- which will be held in conjunction with The Meadowlands Pace. Langley also discussed reviving the Harness Racing Congress in 2013 and the horse slaughter controversy.
Jay Hickey of the American Horse Council addressed association members and guests on tax and depreciation issues facing horsemen, as well as Internet wagering, gaming laws, and possible legislation that may be introduced in the future.
Illinois-based lobbyist Steve Brubaker explained how horsemen are struggling with legislative inconsistencies in the Prairie State.
The Insurance Committee met in the afternoon to review insurance policies, including third-party liability, which is one of the best benefits offered to HHI members.
The Convention Committee discussed where the next HHI meeting may be held, and the Virginia Harness Horsemen's Association application for admission into HHI was accepted.
Saturday's agenda includes roundtable discussions with North American racing secretaries, HHI elections, committee and individual association reports.
HHI's annual awards banquet begins Saturday at 7 p.m., honoring a quartet of harness racing's most outstanding personalities for 2011. Jeff Gural will receive the Dominic Frinzi Person of the Year Award, while Tom Luchento and Gerry Connors are being honored with the HHI Appreciation Awards, and Sam McKee with the Clyde Hirt Media Award.
by Kimberly Rinker, for Harness Horsemen's International