Round Table

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*The 1982 Round Table was conducted in a unique format that consisted only of veterinarians. No transcript was produced for this edition of the conference.

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On Wednesday, July 1, 1953, a group of Thoroughbred racing participants and officials, as well as a few journalists, convened in The Jockey Club office at 250 Park Avenue in New York City to discuss the state of Thoroughbred racing.

Mr. George D. Widener, representing The Jockey Club, made some introductory remarks.

"Because of the complications and pace of racing today, we never have an opportunity to hear what people who are in another branch of activity than ourselves think about various problems. The purpose of this conference is to get every element in racing together to exchange viewpoints."

The topics of the ensuing discussion among the 18 attendees ranged from foal registration procedures, backstretch security, purse distribution and the use of hormones and vitamins to race-entry timetables and rules for claiming horses.

That conference, hosted by The Jockey Club, became an annual tradition and is now widely known as the Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing. It was moved to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. in 1954 and has been held there every August since.

The two-hour conference has featured a myriad of important topics and prominent speakers from the United States as well as many foreign countries and more than 300 industry participants now attend.

Many critical initiatives over the years have been conceived and/or announced at the Round Table Conference.

The 2017 Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing was held August 13 at The Gideon Putnam in Saratoga Springs.