USTA District 7 members, directors meet in Bedford

Bedford, PA — The annual meeting of District 7 (Pennsylvania) of the U.S. Trotting Association was held Saturday afternoon (Jan. 19) in this southwest Pennsylvania city.

Sam Beegle, who was re-elected as Chairman of District 7, presided over the meeting; also in attendance were District 7 directors Russell Williams (who, as the USTA President, served as the organization’s representative) and Rich Gillock, along with Tom Leasure, director of racing at The Meadows, who recently joined the District 7 directors.

Fred Strathmeyer, deputy secretary of the PA State Department of Agriculture, attended the meeting and said that interviews for the vacant position of Director of the Bureau of Standardbred Racing within the State Horse Racing Commission should be starting shortly, and they hoped to have a person in place within a couple of months. He also promised to work on the selection of the two-day Sire Stakes host sites, beginning with the annual Fair meeting at Hershey this coming Thursday and the upcoming Horse Racing Commission meeting.

Chris McErlean, Vice-President of Racing for Penn National Gaming, attended the meeting as his group recently purchased The Meadows, and spoke briefly.

Russell Williams then guided the assembled through the proposed USTA rule changes, so that the Directors could speak the mind of their constituents when the USTA full board meets in March in Columbus. Below is how the District 7 members voted (to read the full rule change proposals, click here).

1. Extended break — Rejected
2. Media in paddock — Accepted
3. On track 5 min. before post time — Rejected
4. No diff. ext. and nonext. wins – Rejected
5. Who can claim — Accepted
6. Number of trailers – Accepted with the amendment that at non-ext. meets there should be a maximum of one trailer regardless of age.
7. Purses if DQ — Rejected
8. Secure entry process — Accepted
9. Electronic display of entries — Rejected
10. PP 1-4/PP 5-8 — Rejected
11. Horses coming to gate — Accepted
12. Speed of gate — Accepted
13. Charging the gate — Accepted
14. Starting rules violations — Accepted
15. “Holding horses” before start — Rejected
16. Position of second-tier horses — Rejected
17. Amateur driver — Rejected
18. “AP” driving license — Rejected
19. Race driving violations — Rejected
20. Whip color — Tabled
21. Rules on breaking — Rejected
22. Mud aprons – Accepted with the amendment at end “…pari-mutuel tracks, at which time the track shall be rated ‘sloppy.’”
23. Number of mares bred — Accepted
24. Submission of “Mares Bred” list — Accepted
25. Reusage of horse names — Accepted
26. Licensed trainer – Accepted

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