Eligibility Nomination and Induction

General Election

Criteria for Eligibility

Contemporary Female and Male Horses:

Thoroughbreds become eligible when five calendar years have elapsed between their final racing year and their year of nomination. Thoroughbreds remain eligible between five and 25 calendar years. Thoroughbreds retired for more than 25 calendar years become eligible through the Historic Review Committee.

Contemporary Jockeys:

Jockeys become eligible after 20 years as licensed Thoroughbred riders. Jockeys remain eligible until 25 years following their retirement. Jockeys retired for more than 25 years become eligible through the Historic Review Committee.

Contemporary Trainers:

Trainers become eligible after 25 years as licensed Thoroughbred trainers. Trainers remain eligible until 25 years following their retirement. Trainers retired for more than 25 years become eligible through the Historic Review Committee.

Special Circumstances:

The 20- and 25-year requirements for jockeys and trainers may be waived but a five-year waiting period is then observed before they become eligible. In case of fragile health, the five-year waiting period may be waived at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

Method of Election

Nominating Committee:

The Nominating Committee consists of no fewer than 10 members appointed annually by the President of the Museum. The duty of the Nominating Committee shall be to prepare a ballot listing eligible candidates in alphabetical ord

Voting Panel:

The Voting Panel for induction into the Hall of Fame consists of active or former racing writers, editors, broadcasters, historians and commentators. Members of the Voting Panel are invited to participate annually. The duty of the Voting Panel shall be to submit candidates for consideration by the Nominating Committee and to cast votes to elect the candidates to the Hall of Fame.

Nominating and Election Process:

All voters and members of the public may submit one candidate in each category for consideration by the Nominating Committee.  Members of the Nominating Committee may submit one nomination in each category.

Unsuccessful candidates who appeared on the final ballot in the previous three years shall automatically be added to the initial list of candidates.  The Museum staff will confirm the eligibility of each candidate.  Brief biographies will be prepared by the Museum staff and submitted to the Nominating Committee.

Members of the Nominating Committee will then vote for five candidates they judge worthy of consideration by the Voting Panel. The Nominating Committee will then meet via conference call and discuss the remaining candidates in each of the four categories. The Nominating Committee may select as many as four candidates and as few as two candidates to be placed on the final final ballot. In addition, the Nominating Committee has the option of not placing any names in a category that year.

The Museum staff will prepare biographies on all candidates approved by the Nominating Committee for inclusion on the final ballot. The ballot will be sent to the Voting Panel in April.

Members of the Voting Panel will receive a biography and a statistics package on each candidate approved by the Nominating Committee. Write-in votes are not permitted.

The Voting Panel will be asked to vote Yes or No for each candidate on the ballot. The candidate with the most Yes votes in each category will be inducted. Should a dead-heat occur all candidates who finish in the tie would be elected.


Special Committee Election

Historic Review Committee

Criteria for Eligibility:

  • Horses must be retired for 25 years to be eligible.
     
  • Jockeys become eligible when retired for more than 25 years after completing 20 years as licensed Thoroughbred riders.
     
  • Trainers become eligible when retired for more than 25 years after completing 25 years as a licensed Trainer.

Method of Election:

The Historic Review Committee consists of no fewer than 10 members appointed by the President of the Museum.

The Committee shall meet in the years not reserved for the Steeplechase Committee, which meets in every other odd-numbered year. The duty of the Historic Review Committee shall be to gather nominations, prepare a nominating ballot, and issue a final ballot.


Nominating and Election Process:

The public and members of the Historic Review Committee may submit one name in each of three categories: Horse, Jockey and Trainer. Any horse, jockey or trainer nominated in the Contemporary category who was ineligible because they were retired for 25 years will be submitted to the Historic Review Committee. Those who submit nominations are asked to supply supporting information.

A nominating ballot will be prepared including all nominations in each of the three categories.  Members of the Committee may cast votes for up to 50 percent of the nominations in each category. The nominee in each category receiving the most votes will be placed on the final ballot. In case of a tie, all nominees will be placed on the final ballot. Each member of the Committee may cast one vote in each of the three categories.


Any candidate receiving 75 percent of the ballots cast shall be elected to membership in the Racing Hall of Fame.

Steeplechase Committee

Criteria for Eligibility:

Thoroughbreds become eligible when five calendar years have elapsed between their final racing year and their year of nomination. Jockeys become eligible after 20 years as licensed Thoroughbred riders. Trainers become eligible after 25 years as licensed trainers.

Special Circumstances:

The 20- and 25-year requirements for jockey and trainer may be waived but a five-year waiting period is then observed before they become eligible. In case of fragile health, the five-year waiting period may be waived at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

Method of Election:

The Steeplechase Committee consists of no fewer than 10 members appointed by the President of the Museum.

The Committee will meet every other odd-numbered year, commencing in 2005. The duty of the Steeplechase Committee shall be to gather nominations, prepare a nominating ballot, and issue a final ballot.

Nominating and Election Process:

The public and members of the Steeplechase Committee may submit one name in each of three categories: Horse, Jockey and Trainer. Those who submit nominations are asked to supply supporting information. A nominating ballot will be prepared including all nominations in each of the three categories. Members of the Committee may cast votes for up to 50 percent of the nominations in each category.

The nominee in each category receiving the most votes will be placed on the final ballot. In case of a tie, all nominees will be placed on the final ballot. Each member of the Committee may cast one vote in each of the three categories. Any candidate receiving 75 percent of the ballots cast shall be elected to membership in the Racing Hall of Fame.

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