Jabelman to Lead June 21 Turf Maintenance Program

Jabelman to Lead June 21 Turf Maintenance Program


The inaugural Racecourse Manager Certification program, an online curriculum for turf surface maintenance personnel, will host its third and final session on Monday, June 21 at 11 a.m. ET, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the University of Kentucky announced June 17.

Entitled “Measurement of Turf Condition,” Monday’s two-hour session will feature presentations from eight leading authorities on racing surfaces. Brian Jabelman, Senior Director of Track Operations, for The New York Racing Association will provide introductory remarks as the leader of the session. In addition to Jabelman, topics and participants include: 

  • “The phases of loading with respect to surface functional props.” – Dr. Sarah Jane Hobbs, University of Central Lancashire;
  • “Current tools and limitations for measuring biomechanical response.” -Peter Schmitt, a PhD student in the Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering department at the University of Kentucky.
  • “Calibration and correlation—what kinds of things do we use to measure turfgrass responses and safety.” – Beth Guertal, Ph.D., Professor of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, Auburn University; and Michael “Mick” Peterson, Ph.D., Director of the Racetrack Safety Program at the University of Kentucky and Executive Director of the Racing Surfaces and Testing Laboratory;
  • “Measurement of surfaces in British Eventing.” – Alison Northrop, Senior Lecturer, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, England ;
  • “Take-off and landing areas in measurements of turf for appropriate biomechanical response.” – Jim Pendergest, Director of Racing Surfaces, Keeneland Race Course; and John “Trey” Rogers, III, Ph. D., Professor of Turfgrass Research, Michigan State University;
  • “Data from the Maintenance Quality System and the Equine Injury Database.” – Peterson

 Individuals who pre-register at https://www.ntra.com/rmcp/ will be sent a Zoom link prior to Monday’s webinar.

The Racecourse Manager Certification program curriculum is designed for those already engaged in careers with turf surface maintenance. The online classes are free. Individuals who complete the video courses and pass a test that requires a $50 fee will receive a certificate of completion from the University of Kentucky. Participating Thoroughbred racetracks that enroll their personnel will receive credit toward future accreditation by the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance.

The curriculum for the turf management course was developed by Peterson.



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