Speaker Series: Eric Hamelback

March 4, 2023
Skype with Eric Hamelback and RTIP students

Eric Hamelback, President of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), joined the Joe Hirsch Speaker Series on March 1st, 2023. He shared with students his journey to the HBPA, the structure of the organization, and the organization’s stance on the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. Prior to his time with the HBPA, Hamelback worked for the renowned Adena Springs for over a decade, amongst other roles with major farms in the United States.
Hamelback discussed with students how he fights for horsemen’s rights on Capitol Hill, emphasizing the economic impart of horse racing as an agribusiness. He also shared how member tracks pay membership fees, as well as shared how other recognized horsemen’s organizations operate across the country.
Much of the discussion revolved around HISA. Hamelback shared that his organization has led the charge in opposition. In the HBPA’s opinion, they believe that fighting the implementation will be better in the long run for the industry and that HISA acts against the best interest of the racehorse. He relayed to students that the hope would be to “repeal and replace” HISA with a uniform compact developed by industry stakeholders.