USTA Board of Directors Annual Meeting concludes

Columbus, OH — The U.S. Trotting Association Board of Directors Annual Meeting concluded Monday (March 22) with approval of the 2021 budget, five rule change proposals approved, including a new Rule 18.08 for Urging Regulations, Prohibitions and Penalties and the announcement that the 2022 meeting will return to an in-person gathering from March 11-14 at the Sheraton Columbus at Capitol Square.

The 2020 meetings were held by teleconference while this year’s meetings were conducted via Zoom.

“I’m really overwhelmed at the amount of work put in by the directors and USTA staff,” said USTA President Russell Williams. “In my 25 years of coming to these meetings, this is the best one we’ve ever had.”

The completely revamped rule for Urging (whipping) was a result of the recommendations made by a subcommittee of the Rules Committee led by director Chris Antonacci. There will be more information about this new rule announced in the near future.

The full Board of Directors also approved reports from the Racing, Registration, Rules and Finance Committees.

Prior to the closing general session in a Zoom meeting that lasted just over three hours, the Finance Committee approved the 2021 budget, which projects a surplus of nearly $700,000 over projected expenses, and that was also passed by the full board.

To see the new rule changes, click here.

The Board also approved honorariums for two veterinarians who have contributed very valuable medication studies to the USTA and Harness Racing Medication Collaborative.

USTA President Russell Williams announced the formation of three new subcommittees and one change to the Executive Committee.

A finance subcommittee will consider the USTA investment policy for the future. A second subcommittee will assist the Standardbred Transition Alliance in developing a mechanism to provide sustained funding for the organization.

In addition, following a presentation by Dr. Rebecca Bellone on pilot studies on genetic diversity (variability) and performance of Standardbreds in last Wednesday’s (March 17) Registration Committee, a subcommittee will consider and make recommendations on three studies by the University of California, Davis that she proposed.

Williams selected Joe Frasure Jr. a track director from District 8A to replace the departing Alex Dadoyan on the Executive Committee.

All other members on the committee will remain the same for 2021.

After being called to order at 3 p.m., the meeting was adjourned at 3:22 p.m.

To view a recap video of the annual meeting closing general session, click here.

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