Columbus, OH — Members from the United States Trotting Association District 1 met on Saturday (Jan. 14) at the Hilton Columbus Polaris hotel in Columbus, Ohio, to discuss proposed USTA rule changes and to make recommendations that will be conveyed at the USTA’s annual board of directors meeting in March. The meeting preceded the district’s annual awards dinner, which was held later that evening.
District directors in attendance were Skip Hoovler (chairman), Steve Bateson, Kevin Greenfield, and Jason Roth. Hoovler was re-elected as district chairman.
Other luminaries in the room included Bob Schmitz, former chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission; Hall of Fame race announcer and industry legend, Roger Huston; and Jennifer Daniels, Administrator of the Standardbred Transition Alliance.
Michele Kopiec, the USTA’s racing operations and licensing manager, provided rules context and clarification during the meeting, assisted by the USTA’s executive vice president, Mike Tanner.
District members reviewed 18 rulebook and three bylaw changes proposed for 2023, approving seven, rejecting 12, and tabling two. The proposed rule changes for 2023 may be found here.
A complete summary of the District 1 voting is as follows and the district issued the following recommendations:
Proposal #1 – Saddle Pad Colors: TABLED
Proposal #2 – Infield Pond Barriers: ACCEPTED*
Proposal #3 – Racing Official/Driver Conflict of Interest: REJECTED
Proposal #4 – “No Contest” Criteria: ACCEPTED
Proposal #5 – Stallion Syndicate Requirements: ACCEPTED
Proposal #6 – Partnership Listed Owners: REJECTED
Proposal #7 – Horses 15 and Older: REJECTED
Proposal #8 – Claim Announcements: REJECTED
Proposal #9 – Two-Year-Olds on the Gate: REJECTED
Proposal #10 – Purse Money Distribution: REJECTED
Proposal #11 – Amateur Racing Licenses: REJECTED
Proposal #12 – Filing of Driver Objections: REJECTED
Proposal #13 – AI Following Castration or Death: ACCEPTED
Proposal #14 – Monthly Breeding Reporting: REJECTED
Proposal #15 – Live Foals > 140 Limit: REJECTED
Proposal #16 – Live Foals > 140 Limit: REJECTED
Proposal #17 – Embryo Transfer Restrictions: REJECTED
Proposal #18 – SIP Membership Category: ACCEPTED
Proposal #19 – District 6 Track Directors: ACCEPTED
Proposal #20 – Roll Call Votes: ACCEPTED
Proposal #21 – Anti-Harassment: TABLED
*With amendment to limit the rule to pari-mutuel tracks only and strike language referring to stone or concrete pond bottoms.