Sweeney elected ARCI Chair; conference organizers recognized

Posted: April 10, 2019

Dr. Corrine Sweeney, a member of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission and a noted equine health researcher, on April 5 was elected as the Association of Racing Commissioners International Chair for the next year.

Sweeney, Associate Dean at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center, takes over from Maryland Racing Commission Executive Director Mike Hopkins. The ARCI chair serves for one year.

“Caring for and advocating for horses and doing research on how to improve the health of horses has been my life’s work,” Sweeney said at the ARCI annual conference. “The concept that any of us would support a sport that would be detrimental to the horse dismays me.”

Tom Sage, Executive Director of the Nebraska State Racing Commission and former Chair of the Organization of Racing Investigators, was elected Chair-elect/Secretary; Robert Lopez, a member of the Washington State Horse Racing Commission, was named Treasurer; and Hopkins remains on the ARCI Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

Elected to the board were Rick Baedeker, Executive Director of the California Horse Racing Board; Charles Gardiner, Executive Director of the Louisiana State Racing Commission; Charles Moore, Executive Director of the Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Commission; Edward Menton, Chair of the Mobile County (Alabama) Racing Commission; Marc Guilfoil, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission; Judy Nason, Acting Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission; John Wayne, Executive Director of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission; Tom Di Pasquale, Executive Director of the Minnesota Racing Commission; Dave Lermond, Executive Director of the Virginia Racing Commission; and Kelly Cathay, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Racing Commission.

They join West Virginia Assistant Attorney General Kelli Talbot, New York State Gaming Commission Executive Director Rob Williams, Director Louis Trombetta of the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, and Brent Stone, Director of Regulatory Compliance at the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, on the board.

In addition, the board voted unanimously to extend the employment contract of ARCI President Ed Martin for another three years upon expiration of the contract in August.

Foreman receives William H. May Award from ARCI

The ARCI on its final meeting day also recognized the organizers of the Regulatory Veterinarian Continuing Education conference, which was held for the second time earlier this year. The special President’s Award, which recognizes exemplary service and contribution to racing integrity, was presented to Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Operating Officer of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium; Dr. Lynn Hovda, Chief Veterinarian for the Minnesota Horse Racing Commission; and Dr. Mary Scollay, Equine Medical Director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

“The Association of Racing Commissioners International was delighted to recognize the efforts of Drs. Dionne Benson, Lynn Hovda and Mary Scollay to create this high impact continuing education program for our veterinary colleagues who are the frontline advocates for our racehorses,” Sweeney said.

The three women, in collaboration with fellow conference committee Steve Koch, who oversees the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, and Dr. Scott Hay of Teigland, Franklin and Brokken are responsible for the creation of conference. The sold-out event, held in Florida in March, was attended by more than 60 regulatory and official racetrack veterinarians from 20 states and six countries.

(Dr. Corrine Sweeney photo courtesy of ARCI)