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Racecourse Manager Certificate Program

About the Racecourse Managers Certificate Program

The Racecourse Managers Certificate Program is a newly launched series of continuing education programs for horse industry professionals. It was developed through a partnership between the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory. "Turfgrass as an Equine Sports Surface" is the first certification in the program.

Expert Programming

"Turfgrass as an Equine Sports Surface" consisted of three live webinars in June 2021. The sessions had over 13 national and international speakers, all experts in their fields. The webinars were recorded and split into invidual videos for ease of use, resulting in over 20 videos. All video content can be watched for free on the UK Ag Equine Programs YouTube channel or by using the links below.

“Grader School” was offered in September. Watch the videos here.

Certification by University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky will be administering the certification program for Turfgrass as an Equine Sports Surface. The fee for the certificate is $50.  Please note that the $50 fee covers material for all three days. Anyone taking the certificate test will have access to all videos.

Enroll in the "Turfgrass as an Equine Surface" course here.

Sign Up

Sign up to receive email updates about the Racecourse Manager Certificate Program here. You will receive information about upcoming continuing education programs for racing and equine professionals, deadlines, zoom links, detailed agendas, etc.

If you have specific concerns or questions, email karin.pekarchik@uky.edu.

Racecourse Managers Certificate Program: "Grader School"

The Racecourse Managers Certificate Program: Grader School is the second continuing education program in the series. Grader School is a limited-enrollment, competitive program. Learn more here.


The Racecourse Managers Certificate Program: Turfgrass as an Equine Sports Surface has been generously supported by John Deere. Other sponsors include Duralock, Horsemen’s Track and Equipment, Inc., and Equinox Racing.


I. Selection of Turf for Climate Zones – JUNE 7
Session Video Speaker(s) Presentation

Introduction and motivation for talks


Jamie Richardson, Churchill Downs N/A
1.2 Video: Cool Season Grass Selection Mike Goatley, Ph.D., and  Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. Presentation

Video: Warm Season Turfgrasses for Equine Turf

Elizabeth Guertal, Ph.D. Presentation

Video: "Bluemuda (or overseeding) – can one really have it all for a turfed surface?"

Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D., and Logan Freeman  Presentation
1.5 Video: Cool Season Turf Maintenance Michael D. Boekholder Presentation

Video: Managing Turfgrasses in Warm Season Climates

Geoffrey Rinehart Presentation
1.7 Turfgrass selection to match the racing/competition season Video: Panel discussion Panel discussion led by Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. N/A





III. Cultivation of Turf for Compaction and Wear – JUNE 14
Session Video Speaker(s) Presentation
3.1 Video: Introduction and motivation for talks Brian Jabelman, NYRA N/A
3.2 Video: The phases of loading with respect to surface functional properties

Sarah Jane Hobbs, Ph.D., Research Centre for Applied Sport, Physical Activity and Performance

3.3 Video: Current tools and limitations for measuring biomechanical response Doctoral Candidate Peter Schmitt, University of Kentucky  
3.4 Video: Calibration and correlation – what kinds of things do we use to measure turfgrass response and safety? Beth Guertal, Ph.D.,Auburn University; Mick Peterson, Ph.D., University of Kentucky  
3.5 Video: Measurement of Surfaces in British Eventing Alison Northrop, Nottingham Trent University  
3.6 Video: Take off and landing areas in measurements of turf for appropriate biomechanical response Lars Roespstorff, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences N/A
3.7 Video: Selection of Aerification Equipment Beth Guertal, Auburn University  
3.8 Video: Data from the Maintenance Quality System and the Equine Injury Database Peterson  


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