A seat at the 2018 NTRA National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) presented by Racetrack Television Network, STATS Race Lens™ and Treasure Island Las Vegas will be up for grabs in a free handicapping contest open exclusively to Equestricon ticket holders, organizers announced today. With the purchase of a “Panel Pass” (starting at just $125) or VIP admission to the historic racing convention, scheduled for August 13 – 15 in Saratoga Springs, attendees will receive automatic entry into the NHC Equestricon Qualifier Contest on 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. “This is a great opportunity to qualify for Las Vegas while participating in an important fan initiative.”
The NHC-Equestricon contest will be hosted on HorsePlayers.com, 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. To that end, organizers announced that with admission to Equestricon, all Panel Pass and VIP ticket 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, beginning this Sunday, April 9, on HorsePlayers.com.
“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 ticket 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.”
Tickets for Equestricon are now on sale at Equestricon.com. Panel Pass packages include access to up to eight panels at the convention, including a Tournament Handicapping Workshop on Monday, August 14, sponsored by the NTRA and NHC.
Featured in the Tournament Handicapping Workshop are a number of contest legends, including 2012 NHC winner Michael Beychok; 2015 NHC Tour hero Jonathon Kinchen; 2014 Horseplayer World Series Champion and back-to-back Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge runner-up (2011 and 2012) Christian Hellmers; 2016 NHC champion Paul Matties; $100,000 and $50,000 online tournament winner Barbara Bowley; Daily Racing Form Tournament Editor and author of The Winning Contest Player Peter Thomas Fornatale; and five-time NHC qualifier Jeannie King.
About the National Horseplayers Championship
In its 19th year, the NTRA National Horseplayers Championship (formerly known as the NTRA National Handicapping Championship) is presented by Racetrack Television Network, STATS Race Lens™ and Treasure Island Las Vegas. Equibase is the official data provider of the NHC and NHC Tour. The NHC is world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. The most recent NHC offered record prize money and awards totaling more than $2.9 million. NHC 19 will be held February 9-11, 2018, at Treasure Island Las Vegas.
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 equestricon.com.