Summer Convention 2015
The National HBPA 2015 Summer Convention took place August 6th through August 9th in Denver, Colorado. The convention kicked off with a Welcome Cocktail Reception that was nicely done and gave the Colorado HBPA a showcase to present numerous awards to their local members. The working part of the convention began Friday at 8:30 the next morning and ran through to 5:30 PM.
Among the committees that met then were the Benefit Providers were horsemen from around the country compare notes on benevolence and ways of helping their members to understand HIPPA, Obama Care and immigration to name a few. Other committees that met and conducted business were National Insurance, Horsemen’s Journal, Budget, Dues and Investment. I am a member of all of these committees. Other committees that met this day were Audit, Public Relations, and Industry Awards and the Executive Committee of which Florida is always a member. All of these committee meetings are open to all registrants and their spouses, although the Executive Committee sometimes will go into “executive session” when only affiliate board members can remain in the room.
There are two forums at each convention, and the forum on Friday was the very interesting Legislative Affairs Forum. Bill White was a panelist and spoke to the phony pari-mutuel barrel racing and “flag drop” racing taking place in Florida which leads to automatic card rooms and the hope of slots. The Forum was moderated by Brian Fitzgerald who is the NHBPA Federal Lobbyist. Other panel members were a Senator from Colorado, the Director of the Colorado Racing Commission and a lobbyist for the local breeders, horsemen and race track.
Saturday there was just one Forum, the Medication Forum moderated by yours truly. My opening remarks were similar to my Medication Corner article for the Horsemen’s Journal which I previously sent to the entire board. Among the panelists was Rich Halvey, a well-known racing writer, who spoke from the perspective of the horse player, particularly dealing with medication issues. Dr. Clara Fenger from Kentucky spoke to uniform medication rules and federal oversight. Dr. Tobin spoke of some of the questionable work on Xylazine (Rompun) and other related regulatory matters. The ever-popular Dr. Steve Barker from LSU, who is retiring this year, gave a history of equine drug testing and the projected future.
On a little aside, I heard someone comment on all the letters following Dr. Fenger’s name. She has 12 of them; Dr. Tobin, Veterinary Advisor to the NHBPA, has 18.
Saturday afternoon we went to Arapahoe Park about a 40 minute drive from our hotel. It was a quaint little track that ran Arabians and Quarter Horses as well as Thoroughbreds. They served a very nice buffet and the food was very good.
Sunday’s full board meeting concluded the convention, and all business conducted in the Executive Committee was ratified by the full board. President Robin Richards completed her three year term and did not choose to run for President again. Leroy Gessman from Iowa was elected as our new President.
Videos of the forums will be available on the HBPA.org website in about a month.
Summer Convention 2015