The Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) is pleased to announce that Hugh Gallagher, the Executive Director of the Delaware Harness Racing Commission, has been named the recipient of the 2013 RCI Len Foote Award.
The Foote Award is the highest honor bestowed on racing regulators in North America. The award was presented at the annual awards luncheon held on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Gallagher, a native of Maryland, has been involved in the racing industry in eight different jurisdictions for nearly 40 years. As a racing steward and presiding judge, Gallagher has officiated more than 38,000 races. Gallagher was unable to attend the convention, but accepting on his behalf was John Wayne, the Executive Director of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission.
In a written acceptance statement, Gallagher expressed that he was “humbled by the honor” of being selected among his peers for the award, while also urging all racing regulators to “stand firm at this time although you may face fierce resistance and objection from various elements of the industry we have chosen to regulate.”
RCI also honored Steve Barham, Associate Coordinator for the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program and former Executive Director of the Oregon Racing Commission, with the 2013 RCI William H. May Award. The award honors “meritorious service” to the racing industry of individuals or groups, and past recipients of the include Stanley Bergstein, John Gaines, and John and Barbara Smicklas, the 2012 co-recipients.
RCI Model Rules Committee Chairman Larry Eliason, the Executive Secretary of the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, presented Barham with the award, noting that under Barham's supervision the Oregon Racing Commission successfully undertook the regulation of Advanced Deposit Wagering, which has grown to over $2 billion annually in handle. Barham has also been a driving force in the development and maintenance of the RCI Model Rules.
“In both his time as a racing regulator and an RTIP faculty member Steve Barham has been an important and well-respected factor at RCI and throughout the racing industry, and he is a noble recipient of the William H. May Award,” said RCI President Ed Martin.
Barham plans on retiring from the University of Arizona at the conclusion of the spring academic semester, a void that will be felt at the Race Track Industry Program, at RCI, and throughout the pari-mutuel racing industry.
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