More than 100 attendees representing approximately 70 tracks, training centers and farms convened at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino for the 20th renewal of Track Superintendents’ Field Day on June 14-15. The event was cancelled last year due to COVID-19, and this year’s gathering turned into one of the largest yet. Track Supers Field Day is designed to bring together track superintendents and staff to network and discuss best practices related to track maintenance, safety and operational issues.
“We could not be more pleased with the turnout we had for this,” said Roy Smith, who originally founded the event at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) and currently is the track superintendent at Indiana Grand. “We had some of the industry’s leaders make presentations over the past two days, and you’d have to go far and wide to find the level of expertise and experience we had in that room. These people have their finger on the pulse of this complicated industry. We all have busy schedules, so I appreciate all who attended.”
“Indiana Grand was a tremendous host, especially considering all the uncertainty just a few months ago about whether we’d be able to pull this off,” said Steve Andersen of title sponsor Equine Equipment, which helped organize the event and with the other sponsors made it possible for track supers and staff to attend with no registration fees. “The horse industry is full of hard-working people, but I don’t think anyone works harder and longer hours than track supers, so we are happy to support this event for the greater good of the industry. Special thanks also go out to the team at Indiana Grand led by Joe Morris and Eric Halstrom, as well as moderator Nancy Holthus, who all put in a lot of work to make this possible.”
Speakers at the event included agronomist Michael DePew, National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback, Churchill Downs Equine Medical Director Dr. Will Farmer, former trainer and Tapeta Footings President Michael Dickenson, Ginny Smith and John Gruneisen of Advanced Turf Solutions, Dr. Timm Gudehus of Caesars Entertainment Equine Specialty Hospital, Austin Johns of the Indiana Grand track maintenance crew and Brett Davis, Mitch Smythe and Mark Lowery of New Holland. Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day also spoke at the event regarding racetrack chaplaincy. There were panels and roundtables for track supers at both Thoroughbred and Standardbred tracks.
The location of the 2022 Track Supers Field Day will be announced in the near future. For more information, go to tracksupers.com.