photo: Suzie Picou-Oldham photos
The Winners Federation is a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) charitable organization committed to the health and safety of all workers at racetracks and other racing-related facilities. In 2005, the Winners Federation adopted the motto, “Healthy Workers for Healthy Horses,” because its members believe that the health of the horse and ultimately the health of the racing industry depend upon a healthy worker in a healthy, safe workplace.

The Winners Federation also serves as the umbrella organization for stable-area health and employee-assistance programs and the individuals who are involved with providing those services. For more than a quarter-century, these individuals and organizations have provided professional assistance to racetrack workers, offering a wide range of health benefits, including addictions counseling.

Those programs, based at racetracks across North America, have obtained recognition for their role in helping workers in need and for improving the quality of life on the racetrack.

The Winners Federation grew from the Louisville conferences on alcohol and drug-abuse programs on North America’s racetracks. The first conference in 1989 was financed by the Ryan Family Foundation, and subsequent conferences were under the auspices of the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine and Department of Equine Administration.

In early 1994, members of the horse-racing community, its caregivers and other interested individuals came together in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to form the Winners Federation to serve as a national advocate for backstretch addictions treatment and prevention programs.

Incorporated in 1997 as a nonprofit entity, the Winners Federation initially was affiliated with the Association of Racing Commissioners International. After a brief dormant period, the organization was reinvigorated with a proactive, committed board of directors and an executive director with wide contacts through the racing industry. The Winners Federation now stands as an independent racing-industry organization with ties to the Association of Racing Commissioners International and other industry groups. In 2005, the Winners Federation revised its bylaws and mission statement to encompass all health and safety issues related to workers on the racetrack and other racing facilities.


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