ARCI completing town halls, seeks online input

by | Oct 14, 2016 | Breaking, Business, Regionwide

From an Association of Racing Commissioners International release

The final two ARCI “Town Hall” meeting focus groups will be focused on quarter horse racing and will take place on Friday, October 21st at Lone Star Park (Grand Prairie, TX) and on Wednesday, October 26th at Los Alamitos Race Course (Los Alamitos, CA).

When done, the ARCI will have held twenty-eight focus group meetings at Thoroughbred, Standardbred, and Quarter Horse racetracks across the country. Over 1,000 people have attended and participated in this process at these meetings.

Now the ARCI is asking all racing industry participants, fans and horse players also participate in this process by taking five minutes to complete an online survey.

The survey can be accessed at this link.

“We are attempting to focus the entire industry on problems that must be addressed and provide information as to which ways to address those problems that would have the most support from those involved in the sport,” RCI President Ed Martin said.

Preliminary data was presented to the ARCI Board last July and the early assessment was that there is a possible consensus path forward that could attract considerable support.

As in the focus groups, those taking the survey will be asked to identify racing’s biggest problems and address questions associated with various ideas that have been put forward to address them. “People are asked to make choices and are also given the opportunity to say what’s on their mind in their own words,” he said.

“It is our hope that the current path which has divided an industry and generated ill will and negative publicity for a sport struggling to compete for the entertainment dollar can be replaced with one that will bring people together in a way that will actually achieve something,” he said.

Martin said the ARCI was encouraged by Jockey Club Chairman Stuart Janney’s remarks at this year’s Roundtable Conference in Saratoga when he said: “When we have the opportunity to do so, we should work together. This industry’s most successful initiatives have been those in which various organizations and individuals joined hands for a common cause.”

The ARCI will stop gathering input at the end of October. During November, the results of the focus groups and survey will be shared with major industry organizations as well as all participants in the process (focus groups and survey).

In December, the ARCI will facilitate a working meeting of the leaders of various groups who have found themselves at cross purposes or troubled by the industry’s political divide.