Proper equipment is extremely important to the maintenance and care of racetracks across North America. Each year, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) recognizes individual John Deere dealers for achieving one million dollars in sales, and Reynolds Farm Equipment of Indiana was the recipient of the award for 2015. The award was presented during the 15th annual Track Superintendent’s Field Day held at Indiana Grand Monday, June 13.
Reynolds, which had a display at the conference and provided demonstrations and information on their latest models of John Deere inventory, was presented with the Million Dollar Equine Club award by Jeff Burch, senior vice president of NTRA along with Susan Parks of NTRA. Representing Reynolds Farm Equipment was Brian Jacobs, Scott Jones, Chris O’Neal and Matt Tice. In addition, Brian Thorpe, territory manager for John Deere, was present for the ceremony.
Reynolds Farm Equipment has several locations in the Central Indiana area. They are one of the largest John Deere distributors in the state. They provide sales and service for new and used equipment of all types, from tractors to lawn care models. They also have a rental division and sell accessories in their stores. In addition to their locations in Indiana, they also have dealers in Kentucky and Ohio.
The presentation was part of a three-day conference for track superintendents from around the world, including Dubai, Puerto Rico and England. A total of 48 tracks were represented during the event that included guest speakers on subjects that directly affect those who prepare and maintain racing surfaces for both turf and dirt courses. This was the first time in the 15-year history of the event that it was held in the state of Indiana. Roy Smith, Indiana Grand’s track superintendent, was the founding member of the conference and wanted to provide a venue for track superintendent’s to come together and share ideas and learn about new opportunities in the horse racing industry.
“This has been a very successful Field Day and was very well attended,” said Smith. “We had some excellent speakers, including a motivational speaker Steve Keating on leadership and managing teams. And, it’s always good to see other track superintendents each year. I always come away from this event learning something new.”
Nancy Holthus, on-air racing personality for Indiana Grand, served as the moderator for the event. Heather Brown and Susan Parks of NTRA were instrumental in providing the organization and lineup of programs for the event, including guest speakers. Other guest speakers for the conference included Dr. Cale Bigelow of Purdue University on Turf Management Fundamentals, Dr. Wayne McIlwraith of Colorado State University on the reduction of musculoskeletal injuries to racehorses, Jennie Rees, turf publicist, Dave Tucek of the National Weather Service on weather extremes and patterns, Dr. Mick Peterson on composition and moisture strength of track surfaces, Rachel McLaughlin, on-air racing personality at Indiana Grand on social media opportunities, Dave Henricksen on agronomic programs and Dr. Mehari Tekesta of Iowa State on modeling and testing of soil dynamics.
The location for the following year’s event is always announced at the conclusion of the Field Day. The 2017 event will take place at Canterbury Park in Minnesota.