USTA District 8 meets

Columbus, OH — On Sunday (Nov. 12), Chairperson Shawn Wiles and Directors Mark Ford, John Matarazzo, Ray Schnittker, and Mike Torcello hosted the annual District 8 meeting in conjunction with the New York Sire Stakes annual awards banquet at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y.

The meeting included a discussion of and voting on the 32 rule and bylaw change proposals for 2024.

Following are the results of the 2024 proposals from District 8:

Proposal #1 – Purse distribution for no contest races: ACCEPTED
Proposal #2 – Corresponding officer designation and ownership percentages: REJECTED
Proposal #3 – Define “ambulance” and the requirement of an ambulance when racing: ACCEPTED
Proposal #4 – Expand definition of accident warning lights: ACCEPTED
Proposal #5 – Require a chain-link fence in front of the grandstand at county fairs: REJECTED
Proposal #6 – Require driving line buckles be taped with black tape: ACCEPTED
Proposal #7 – Expand duties of the judges to include the use of warning lights and siren: ACCEPTED
Proposal #8 – Postponement/cancellation of races in extreme weather: REJECTED
Proposal #9 – Expand procedure of the judges to explain the use of warning lights and siren: ACCEPTED
Proposal #10 – Increase the number of names on the electronic eligibility from four to an unlimited number: TABLED
Proposal #11 – Increase the number of names on the electronic eligibility from four to six: TABLED
Proposal #12 – No horse 15 or older is eligible to perform in any race: ACCEPTED
Proposal #13 – Only one tier of starters at county fair tracks with judge’s discretion: REJECTED
Proposal #14 – Splitting of horses in multiple divisions: TABLED for clarity
Proposal #15 – Publicly publish draw results: REJECTED
Proposal #16 – Require a driver to drive horse on which he/she is listed: REJECTED
Proposal #17 – Penalty for restart: REJECTED
Proposal #18 – Penalty for causing a race to be delayed: REJECTED
Proposal #19 – Remove “before dismounting” as a requirement in a driver filing an objection: REJECTED
Proposal #20 – Horses must race within 30 minutes of assigned Lasix window: REJECTED
Proposal #21 – Five-year warranty to be provided by a sulky manufacturer and/or USTA: TABLED for clarity
Proposal #22 – Require change of company ownership and modification of approved sulky to be reported to USTA: TABLED for clarity
Proposal #23 – Combine Coggins test rules to remove repetitive language: ACCEPTED
Proposal #24 – Require tracks to record and keep on file Coggins test results and vaccine documentation: REJECTED
Proposal #25 – Change naming requirements for the registration of horses: REJECTED
Proposal #26 – Bylaw change to handle board voting electronically: REJECTED
Proposal #27 – Bylaw change to increase terms of chair, vice-chair, secretary, and treasurer to two years: ACCEPTED
Proposal #28 – Bylaw change to add text regarding abuse and harassment: REJECTED
Proposal #29 – Clarify definition of beneficial owner: ACCEPTED
Proposal #30 – Remove references to require tattoo and/or freezebrand to race: ACCEPTED
Proposal #31 – Remove reference to blood typing and dollar amount to submission of list of mares bred: ACCEPTED
Proposal #32 – Remove references to blood tying and repetitive language for parentage verification: ACCEPTED

Shawn Wiles was re-elected as chairperson for District 8. The meeting location for next year will be Saratoga Raceway, with a date and time to be determined.

The remaining districts will meet over the next few months to discuss specific district topics and to vote on the proposals. The results of each district’s vote will be presented to the entire USTA Board of Directors at the annual meeting in March 2024. The full schedule of district meetings, as well as meeting details and recaps, may be found here.

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