Reigning National Horseplayer Championship (NHC) hero Paul Matties, the 2015 NHC Tour winner Jonathon Kinchen, and 2012 NHC million-dollar man Michael Beychok are among the high-profile NHC regulars slated to participate in a landmark panel discussion on conquering the handicapping contest world during the inaugural Equestricon, Aug. 13-15, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) is the founder, owner, and operator of the NHC and NHC Tour.

Equestricon is the first international horse racing convention, trade show and fan festival. The August 14 “Tournament Handicapping Workshop, Presented by the NTRA” will be the first session at a major industry conference to be devoted entirely to contest play since the 2007 renewal of the defunct Horseplayers Expo.

In addition to past NHC and NHC Tour winners, other contest veterans set to participate in the Workshop include  2014 Horseplayer World Series Champion and back-to-back Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge runner-up (2011 and 2012) Christian Hellmers; $100,000 and $50,000 online tournament winner Barbara Bowley; Daily Racing Form Tournament Editor and The Winning Contest Player author Peter Thomas Fornatale; and five-time NHC qualifier Jeannie King.

To further entice contest players, Equestricon has partnered with the NTRA to present an extraordinary, first-of-its-kind opportunity for horseplayers to qualify for the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping contest – the NTRA National Horseplayers Championship Presented by Racetrack Television Network, STATS Race Lens™ and Treasure Island Las Vegas, set for February 9-11, 2018, at Treasure Island – via a free NHC-qualifying handicapping contest open exclusively to Equestricon ticket holders. With the purchase of a “Panel Pass” (starting at just $125) or VIP Pass attendees will receive automatic entry into the online NHC Equestricon Qualifier Contest the following Saturday, August 26.

“The only way to enter this new NHC qualifier is to purchase an Equestricon ‘Panel Pass,’ which we expect will keep the field size relatively limited,” said NTRA Chief Operating Officer and NHC Tournament Director Keith Chamblin.

The NHC-Equestricon contest will be hosted on, the new official online qualifying platform of the NHC and Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC). The Breeders’ Cup is a Signature Partner of Equestricon, the fan-centric convention that will feature more than 45 panels, workshops, seminars and non-stop entertainment, mostly hosted within the Saratoga Springs City Center.

Participation in NHC Tour events, including online qualifiers, requires NHC Tour membership. As part of a special offer, all Equestricon Panel Pass and VIP Pass holders will also receive a complimentary one-year membership to the NHC Tour (a $50 value). New NHC Tour members have exclusive access to a series of free member contests throughout the year on

“If you don’t yet have an NHC Tour membership, it makes all the sense in the world to purchase a Panel Pass or VIP Pass right now,” said Equestricon co-founder Justin Nicholson. “Not only will that give you a chance to play in five free contests between now and the end of the year, you’re also going to get automatic entry into the big NHC qualifier open only to those buying these two types of tickets to Equestricon.”

For the full calendar of upcoming NHC qualifiers, including links to details on how to enter, visit

For additional information on the NHC and NHC Tour visit

About Equestricon™
Equestricon™ is the first international horse racing convention, trade show and fan festival. Founded by Dan Tordjman, Kathryn Sharp and Justin Nicholson, Equestricon™ is designed to bring the horse racing industry together in an atmosphere of entertainment, engagement and education. The inaugural Equestricon™ will be held in Saratoga Springs, kicking off on August 13, and continuing with its General Session August 14-15 at the Saratoga Springs City Center. The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) is the official charity partner of Equestricon™. For more information, please visit