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Horse Racing Convention Announced For Saratoga Springs

Lucas Willard

Outside the Saratoga Springs City Center, organizers announced Equestricon 2017. The event is scheduled to take place over three days next August, during the busy thoroughbred racing season. It’s touted as the first ever international horse racing convention and industry trade show.

Organizer Dan Tordjman made the announcement sporting a track-appropriate hat and bow-tie.

“When you walk into Equestricon, you’re gonna walk into something unlike anything that’s ever been done before in the sport of racing. There will be attractions ranging from  live music; a horse-racing arcade; around -the-clock autograph signings with current and past stars of the game; there will be meet and greets where people and fans can come and celebrate and engage with directly owners, trainers, jockeys, and learn more of the game that they love,” said Tordjman.

Tordjman is also planning panel discussions, breakout sessions, and guest speakers. The group wants to talk about issues facing the horse racing world, in addition to discussing the industry itself.

The group says it wants the event to become the “ultimate showcase” for advances in aftercare; the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance has been named the event’s official charity partner.

Stepping up to the podium, Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen said she looked forward to the city working with Equestricon. Listing a number of factors, Yepsen emphasized the importance of the industry to the region’s economy.

“It’s not just fancy hats and nice dresses. This is a backstretch issue. We have 35,000 employees that are working with NYRA and in the horse racing industry. This is job creation. So I think what your group has done is encompassed all of these elements into what’s important about horse racing,” said Yepsen.

Yepsen estimated 25 percent of the business done on Broadway in the city’s downtown happens during the six-week Saratoga meet.

Equestricon says the convention will be industry inclusive and is inviting all organizations and businesses involved in the horse racing industry in Saratoga and beyond to participate.

Terry Finley from West Point Thoroughbreds is one of the participating trainers in the effort. He said the focus on the racing fan is the key element to the Equestricon plan.

“It’s important that we get off and we do a good job in 2017. Or, as we say in the business, it’s important to get out of the gate in a good way, so we’ll do that and we appreciate everybody’s support,” said Finley.

For those looking for more information, the Equestricon website was launched Friday. Visit: Equestricon.org.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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