A new organization’s international horse racing convention will be held next August at the Saratoga Springs City Center, it was announced Friday.
Equestricon will take place Aug. 13-15, 2017, in the middle of next year’s New York Racing Association meeting, and during the same week as the Fasig-Tipton yearling sales. It is expected to attract owners, trainers and fans.
“If it’s August and you’re in the racing business, there is only a single place you want to be, and that’s Saratoga,” said Terry Finley, founder and president of West Point Thoroughbreds, a racing stable.
Dan Tordjman, co-founder of Equestricon and a correspondent for America’s Best Racing, said the goal is to engage the racing industry with racing fans and bring new fans into the sport.
“Equestricon is committed to creating an extremely fun and unprecedented outlet for any and all racing enthusiasts to engage the sport like never before,” Tordjman said at a press conference on Broadway, outside the City Center.
He said there will be a racing arcade, live music, autograph signings and meet-and-greets for fans with past and present racing stars.
There will also be issues-based panel discussions, he said. The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, which raises awareness regarding retired race horses, will be the official charity partner, benefiting from any fundraising efforts.
Mayor Joanne Yepsen, who earlier this week renewed the city’s year-old commitment to raising awareness about horse retirement care, urged that those efforts also be recognized. The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has an office in the city and is part of the local effort.
“This is the right city and the right place for you to conduct this convention,” Yepsen said.
A website for the event, www.equestricon.org, went live on Friday, and will continue a list of activities at the convention.
“We feel like it will be extremely beneficial to horse racing and the city of Saratoga Springs as well,” Tordjman said.
Given that it will be the first convention of its kind, Tordjman said it’s hard to estimate how many people will attend.
Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.