Ruidoso Committee

Meeting Minutes and Updates

*note: Minutes may take a short while to upload as they need to be approved.


July 07, 2020



June 27, 2020


Minutes - DRAFT

June 13, 2020



May 27, 2020

 NMHA AARD Committee

Meeting Minutes

Wednesday May 27, 2020


Welcome Back Horsemen!


NMHA Executive Director Richard Erhard welcomed the horsemen back and provided guidelines for this meeting via Zoom.

AARD NMHA Committee Chairman Conda Maze called the meeting to order at 2:16 p.m.

Roll Call: Mindy McArthur, Candy Ezzell, John Simmons, Conda Maze, Juan Carlos Gonzalez, J.J. Gonzales, Simon Buechler, Linda Hines, Jeff True and Richard Erhard

1.     AARD General Manager/President Jeff True – Jeff True offered his appreciation to all horsemen for their cooperation and compliance.

He is in hopes that the owners with horses running that day will be able to  be in the grandstands watching their horses in the Ruidoso Finals . Jeff is not sure at this time if there will be a seating limit and he will work on a contingency plan and/or seating chart as needed. The next phase will be to admit season ticket holders. He also expects the 2nd condition book to be available by Friday, June 29. He spoke of projected and actual on track handles which will determine purses. Jeff informed the committee that the top 30 horses were tested from the first weekend of racing and that there will be more out of competition testing this year than last year. There have also been “spot” barn checks by the AARD Integrity Team . Jeff said there is still a problem with program trainers and feels we need new tools for screening trainers to help solve this problem.

Conda thanked Jeff True and began a Q&A.

            The track is considered a stadium not an outdoor restaurant.

Fans may have to be seated 6’ apart; a plan will be made with the                                                                                                                                                            guidelines of the governor.

      The letters KYC – Know your customer

The Jockey Club and the track are a single entity and will follow the same COVID – 19 guidelines.

Executive Director Richard Erhard reminded the committee that AARD racetrack is “under the Microscope” and must be very careful to follow the guidelines set out by the governor. He said we all must support Jeff and adhere to the rules. Again he asked for cooperation and compliance.

We need a solution to make sure everyone on the backside is getting checked daily.  Juan Carlos Gonzalez, JJ Gonzales and Simon Buechler take their grooms, on race days, to have temps taken and to get their colored wrist bands.

The track was watered between every race last week and also throughout the other days and at night. JJ Gonzales and Simon both agree that the track is in good shape for now until Mother Nature helps out with good rain.

2.     John Simmons (owner) resignation.   

(See NMHA By-Laws Article VII. Track Committee 7.4 Vacancies)

Committee Chairman Conda Maze gave voting instructions. Candy Ezzell made a motion to appoint Susan Vescovo. JJ Gonzoles seconded.

Mindy McArthur amended the motion by striking out Susan Vescovo and inserting Mike Logan. There was no second to the amendment and it failed to pass. The committee voted to appoint Susan Vescovo as the replacement for John Simmons to the committee.

Candy Ezzell thanked John Simmons for serving on the committee.


3.     Candy Ezzell moved to elect 4 trainers for the 2020 – 2021 AARD NMHA Committee. JJ Gonzales seconded the motion and the motion passed. The floor was open for nominations.

Casey Lambert nominated JJ Gonzales

JJ Gonzales nominated Simon Buechler

Simon Buechler nominated Casey Lambert

Candy Ezzell nominated Juan Carlos Gonzales

There were no additional nominations. JJ Gonzales made a motion to close nominations. Simon Buechler seconded the motion and the nominations were closed. Conda Maze said since there are four positions open and only four nominated this list will be the trainers for the 2020 – 2021 race meet.


4.     Casey Lambert made a motion to approve the minutes from the 8/31/2019 meeting. Juan Carlos seconded the motion and by general consent the minutes were approved.


5.     Old Business

·        Condition Book Policy

Per the horsemen’s agreement the condition book draft must be made available to the committee members to review 14 days prior to the first race run. The committee members have 3 days to edit and/or make recommendations and return to the racing secretary.

Hard copies of the draft will be shared to the trainers and electronic copies sent to the owners on the committee.

Executive Director Richard Erhard would like to help develop a uniform language to be used throughout all of the NM racetracks regarding condition book policy.


6.     New Businesss

·        Horsemen’s agreement with AARD

The only significant change in the 2020 agreement with AARD has to do with fixed odds. Jeff True said the change in the agreement with AARD will get a minimum guaranteed revenue. He will be reporting the results to the industry.


·        NMHA Report from Candy Ezzell and Simon Buechler

Committee member Candy Ezzell reported that the state board hired Richard Erhard in November 2019 as the new Executive Director. She is encouraging everyone to support him.


·        PPE – Masks were donated from the AARD Horsemen’s Committee to the horsemen.  1000 essential masks are being donated from the following on behalf of the NMHA Ruidoso Committee:

250 from Mark Andrus of the Saddle Barn, Roswell NM

100 from an anonymous family in Lubbock, TX

650 have been provided by a donation from the Ruidoso Jockey Club Foundation and the masks were made by A Quilting Stichuation here in Ruidoso.

Thank you letters will be composed and sent to these generous donors

·        Upcoming Meetings:

Saturday June 13

Saturday June 27


7.     General Discussion

New computers are to be purchased for the NMHA offices.

Committee members Simon Buechler and JJ Gonzales thanked Jeff True for all of his hard work regarding Covid – 19 policy and procedure.

Simon Buechler asked if other NM tracks would be following the same protocal regarding COVID – 19 Guidelines.

Candy offered a final thank you and appreciation to John Simmons for his help on the AARD NMHA committee.


8.     Adjourn

Casey Lambert moved to adjourn the meeting. Motion was seconded by Simon Buechler. There were no objections and the meeting was adjourned at 3:50 p.m.