Tag: roy smith

The 15th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing is less than one month away and horsemen have returned to prepare for opening day Tuesday, April 18. The racetrack opened for training Monday, March 20 and includes a new safety rail, installed during the off-season to boost safety measures at the track.

Workers from Horsemen’s Track and Equipment install the new safety railing in place for the upcoming 2017 racing season at Indiana Grand.

The new rail, known as Rider Protection Systems, was installed by Horsemen’s Track and Equipment at a cost of $300,000 covered by Indiana Grand. It includes new posts, new base rail and an expanded top surface that stretches 18 inches in width across the top of the base rail, providing a flat surface that is deemed safer for all equine and human athletes at the track. The rail is designed to create fewer shadows on the track and is weather resistant to UV rays as well as inclement conditions, allowing for easy drainage of rain or snow. Installation took place within a two-week period in early March to be ready for the 2017 racing season.


Proper equipment is extremely important to the maintenance and care of racetracks across North America. Each year, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) recognizes individual John Deere dealers for achieving one million dollars in sales and Reynolds Farm Equipment of Indiana was the recipient of the award for 2015. The award was presented during the 15th annual Track Superintendent’s Field Day held at Indiana Grand Monday, June 13.

Reynolds, who had a display at the conference and provided demonstrations and information on their latest models of John Deere inventory, was presented with the Million Dollar Equine Club award by Jeff Burch, senior vice president of NTRA along with Susan Parks of NTRA. Representing Reynolds Farm Equipment was Brian Jacobs, Scott Jones, Chris O’Neal and Matt Tice. In addition, Brian Thorpe, territory manager for John Deere, was present for the ceremony.

Reynolds Farm Equipment has several locations in the Central Indiana area. They are one of the largest John Deere distributors in the state. They provide sales and service for new and used equipment of all types, from tractors to lawn care models. They also have a rental division and sell accessories in their stores. In addition to their locations in Indiana, they also have dealers in Kentucky and Ohio.

The presentation was part of a three-day conference for track superintendents from around the world, including Dubai, Puerto Rico and England. A total of 48 tracks were represented during the event that included guest speakers on subjects that directly affect those who prepare and maintain racing surfaces for both turf and dirt courses. This was the first time in the 15-year history of the event that it was held in the state of Indiana. Roy Smith, Indiana Grand’s track superintendent, was the founding member of the conference and wanted to provide a venue for track superintendent’s to come together and share ideas and learn about new opportunities in the horse racing industry.


Track surfaces expert Mick Peterson, multiple Eclipse Award-winning journalist Jennie Rees and renowned equine orthopedic researcher and surgeon Dr. Wayne McIlwraith are among the featured speakers at this year’s 15th annual Track Superintendents and Arena Managers Field Day Presented by John Deere, set for June 12-14, 2016, at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, […]

The 14th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing opens up with three brand new water trucks on the track. The trucks, specially designed for Indiana Grand, join six new John Deere tractors to kick off the new meet.

The water trucks were designed by Batts, Inc. based in Advance, Ind., just west of Indianapolis. The company specializes in unique equipment used for various job details, including de-icer vehicles utilized at airports. The trucks are larger than past models used at Indiana Grand and are International brand.

“The new trucks have a 4,000 gallon capacity apiece,” said Roy Smith, track superintendent. “There is a 30 foot boom off the passenger side and we now have capacity to water 40 feet of racetrack at one time. In the past, the capacity to water was only 20 feet, so we have doubled our capabilities with the new trucks.”

In addition, track maintenance has two new mowers they utilize for the infield and turf course upkeep. The turf course also got a boost earlier this year with the addition of more thermal blankets, which promote early and stronger growth of the bluegrass on the course.

Thermal blankets were first implemented by Smith last year at Indiana Grand. Additional blankets were added in 2016 and now, almost all of the seven-eighths mile turf course can be covered by the specialty blankets at once, leaving only a few feet exposed at one time.


Indiana Grand Racing & Casino will hold its first turf races of the 2015 racing season next week. The first turf races were scheduled for Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16, but due to heavy rains in the area, the races were moved off the turf. Three races, the fourth, sixth and eighth, are scheduled for the turf course on the Tuesday, May 19 racing program.


Roy Smith, track superintendent at Indiana Grand, leads the team that has been working diligently on both the turf and dirt courses at Indiana Grand this season.

Roy Smith, track superintendent at Indiana Grand, leads the team that has been working diligently on both the turf and dirt courses at Indiana Grand this season.

Roy Smith, track superintendent, and his crew have been working diligently on the turf course in preparation for the first races of the season. They began in early spring by conducting a first overseeding of Kentucky Bluegrass on the seven-eighths mile grass course. To help the new seed take root, Smith implemented new geothermal blankets over the course, a quarter mile at a time, to promote early turf growth. When the blankets were moved to a different section of the turf course, the vibrant green color of grass has been very evident over the past two months.

“The turf blankets are new to Indiana Grand this year and we have enough to cover 1,000 feet at a time,” said Smith. “We left it on a section at a time and then relocated it to another section of the turf course after a few days. You could see a big difference in the color of the grass when we moved the geothermal blankets.”