PRESS RELEASE ... Organization of Racing Investigators, 2022 Annual Meeting, March 27-30

The Organization of Racing Investigators announce that their annual meeting is back on this year ... Hosted by Aqueduct Racetrack, here is a rundown of all of the particulars.
The Organization of Racing Investigators announce that their annual meeting is back on this year ... Hosted by Aqueduct Racetrack, here is a rundown of all of the particulars.

PRESS RELEASE --- It’s good to be back together … From March 27th through 30th of this year, Aqueduct Racetrack will play host to the Organization of Racing Investigators (ORI). A bit of history … this vanguard had its initial meeting in 1991, which marks the origin of the group. However, it was in February of 1996 at Portland Meadows, when racing investigators decided to conduct annual meetings. Of the original 22 that gathered in Oregon, 3 remain … Don Ahrens, Mike Kilpack, and Jim Blodgett; all serve on the Executive Board.

ORI’s purpose was meant to bring together professionals who specialize in security at North American racetracks across the country. Thus, ORI members combat race fixing, horse doping, animal abuse and cruelty, money laundering, cybercrime, conspiracy, illegal pari-mutuel activity, and a host of other infractions, as they liaison with law enforcement agencies across the United States. They are employed by a variety of entities, including police, government, and private security firms that are employed by racetracks. The organization not only provides the opportunity to network, but puts a strong emphasis on best practices. For over 2 decades, on-the-job educational exercises form the core of ORI’s commitment to the industry with a mission to keep investigators sharp against threats to the safety of American racegoers, the connections, and most importantly, the horses.

The 2022 edition is organized by Chairman J.C. Jaramillo of the New York Racing Association (NYRA), and assisted by Vice-Chair Juan Estrada of the Arizona Gaming Commission. This ORI Conference has a forward-thinking agenda that deals with a myriad of topics, including security operations, stewarding, Jockey Club initiatives, corporate protocols, racehorse aftercare awareness, concussion protocols for riders, handling media relations, and understanding microchips and digital certificates.

The 2020 ORI Board of Directors ... includes J.C. Jaramillo and Juan Estrada (pictured on the left), Chair and Vice-Chair of the 2022 Annual Meeting.
The 2020 ORI Board of Directors ... includes J.C. Jaramillo and Juan Estrada (pictured on the left), Chair and Vice-Chair of the 2022 Annual Meeting.

One of the hallmarks of the annual ORI Meeting, is a case study that actively involves participants in a set of live-action problem-solving simulations. These are proven activities that engage security personnel on several levels, educating them concerning a specific topic. This year’s case study will be led by William A. Behe, from the Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, with a particular emphasis on investigation and successful prosecutions concerning racing-related crimes in his home state.

In addition, experts in their fields, including John Clyne, Senior Director, Security, NYRA; Braulio Baeza Jr., State Steward, NY State Gaming Commission; Kristin Werner, Senior Counsel, The Jockey Club; Dr. Scott Palmer, VMD, Equine Medical Dir., NY State Gaming Commission; just to name a few; will all make presentations during the course of the Conference. These presentations satisfy the current “Points of Emphasis” from the Racing Officials Accreditation Program (ROAP), in order to satisfy the required continuing education hours for members of ORI.

The focal point of the weekend will culminate with the Keynote Address, which will be delivered by the Hon. Paul D. Tonko, U.S. Congress, co-sponsor of the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (aka HISA). Representative Tonko will update the membership on HISA, and the impact that it will have, once it becomes effective after July 1, 2022. A Q&A session will follow, so participants can fully understand the ramifications of this landmark legislation for the sport of horse racing. The fulfillment of the main tenets of the Organization of Racing Investigators will provide valuable information to our cadre of investigators. Plus, the augmented training will serve as an essential link to the future of racetrack security. We look forward to getting together once again in March of 2022!

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