Equestricon, a first-ever international horse racing convention and industry trade show coming to Saratoga Springs in the summer, will feature more than 45 panels, discussions, events, celebrity appearances, book signings and additional programming.
Equestricon, scheduled for Aug. 13-15 at Saratoga Springs City Center, is being crafted to the interests of fans at all levels of the sport. Officials announced in December an initial sampling of entertainment, discussion topics and seminars for Equestricon 2017.
A sampling of panels and special sessions includes:
• Autograph signings with Team Secretariat (Ron Turcotte, Charlie Davis, Bill Nack).
• Triple Crown Jockeys Q & A/Signings (Ron Turcotte, Jean Cruguet, Steve Cauthen).
• Basic handicapping and tournament handicapping workshops.
• Seminar on advanced handicapping tools and products.
• Winning on the Big Day (connections behind superstar racehorses).
• Q & A: Racing syndicates (Centennial Farms, West Point Thoroughbreds).
• Perspectives: Hispanic leaders, women in racing, international viewpoints.
• Legends meet-and-greet/signings (Pat Day, Ramon Dominguez, Tom Durkin).
• Author series (Bill Nack, Donna Brothers, Joe Drape, Brien Bouyea).
• Racing media, past, present and future.
• Stories: Racing photography, the greatest race calls, trainers’ panel.
• Racing marketing from coast to coast.
• Young professional networking events.
• Stories: OTTB successes and aftercare pathways, presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.
Retired New York Racing Association announcer Tom Durkin will be emcee of Equestricon. He is also slated to appear on “The Greatest Race Calls” panel, in which he and other popular announcers, including current NYRA and Triple Crown voice Larry Collmus, talk about their favorite races.
“I’m looking forward to sharing some fun stories and playing my part to contribute to Equestricon,” Durkin said. “I truly expect the entire industry to show up and participate in this vital effort to more closely engage with our fans.”
The track announcers panel is one of several “storytellers” sessions, in which popular racing personalities will share personal insights into their careers. Other sessions will highlight the work of acclaimed racing photographers, accomplished horseplayers, successful trainers, championship-winning owners and successes in aftercare.
The remainder of the Equestricon panel lineup features a heavy emphasis on racing media, racetrack marketing, betting technology and the expanding role of social media. Eclipse Award-winning journalists such as Joe Clancy (Saratoga Special, Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Magazine) and NBC Sports TV analyst Donna Brothers are among journalists scheduled to appear.
“We are proud to bring this broad and diverse list of topics to the fans of racing,” said Equestricon co-founder Kathryn Sharp. “Our goal is to ensure that attendees of all levels of interest and backgrounds leave the event having grown their appreciation of and love for the sport.”
Aside from panels, Equestricon will have off-site events where attendees can participate in educational experiences at a local farm, the Fasig-Tipton sales ground and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. These “off-campus” events will make up the bulk of the Sunday program at Equestricon, with the general session running Monday and Tuesday.
There are several social media gatherings and networking sessions scheduled throughout the convention, as well as additional programming for job-seekers looking to pursue careers in the racing industry.
Ticketing for Equestricon and registration for panels and other activities are expected to go live in early February on the event website.
Equestricon is designed to bring the horse racing industry together in an atmosphere of entertainment, engagement and education. The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance is the official charity partner of Equestricon.