USTA announces new Outrider instructional clinic slated for Aug. 31 to Sept. 2

Columbus, OH – The U.S. Trotting Association announced Thursday (June 29) that it will conduct its inaugural Outriding Clinic and education program from Thursday (Aug. 31) through Saturday (Sept. 2) in Ashville and Columbus, Ohio, to identify and train candidates who potentially could become outriders at USTA tracks across the country.

The USTA will conduct its first-ever Outriding Clinic and education program from Aug. 31 through Sept. 2 in Ashville and Columbus. Wendy Ross/USTA photo.

The clinic will consist of three days of intense classroom and on-track instruction to learn the basics of outriding. Thursday and Friday, the program will be held at trainer Virgil Morgan Jr.’s Winner’s Circle Training Center in Ashville, and on Saturday at Eldorado Scioto Downs during morning hours for riders deemed capable. Riders will not participate in live racing.

“Outriders are critical to ensuring the safety of the horses and drivers when a mishap occurs,” said USTA Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Tanner. “There’s a need for more of them in harness racing and our new program is a great opportunity for the USTA to assist in finding and training potential outriders for our tracks.”

Veteran outriders, including the USTA’s Wendy Ross, will be on hand to assist in teaching proper fundamentals, correct methods and important techniques that are critical skills to learn about outriding. In addition, the veteran outriders will also participate in a mentor program following the clinic for those candidates that choose to further pursue a career as an outrider.

Participants will also hear from judges, drivers, and the track starter. They will spend two nights at Eldorado Scioto Downs to get a behind-the-scenes look at how live racing is conducted.

Participants are required to bring their own horse, preferably with track experience, helmet and safety vest and are responsible for having their own transportation. There is no registration fee for the clinic.

All horses are required to have a current Coggins and health certificate.

Candidates must submit a riding resume and a video of their horse to no later than Friday (July 14). Riders and horses with track and/or extensive riding experience are preferred.

The selection of candidates and decisions regarding on-track participation are completely at the discretion of the USTA staff.

Horses will be stabled at Eldorado Scioto Downs for the three days and will ship to the training center (10 minutes away) for the on-track training.

A special room rate will be offered for the Hampton Inn and Suites adjacent to the track and meals will be provided.

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