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What are the Equinics? The Equinics are a player sponsored and coordinated day of races showcasing good horses representing the entire SIM family.

Huh? What exactly are the Equinics? The Equinics consists of 15 races on the dirt, and 15 races on the turf. Up to 20 horses may be entered, with each horse representing a managed track, a SIM entity, or a group of unaffiliated trainers running under an Independent flag.

When are the Equinics?Week 1299 - February 9th, 2002.

Are the races Grade I?Yes.

Why?Because of feedback from last year. Some of the Equinics races last year were Grade II, and some were ungraded. In order to attract the highest level of competition possible it was decided to make them all Grade I this year.

Isn't that being elitist?You obviously were not involved with the Equinics last time around or this thought would not enter your mind. Think of the Jamaican Bobsled Team or Eddie the Eagle at the Calgary Olympics - they were the best their country had to offer. They came, they competed, they held their head high when the competiton was over. Same thing at the last Equinics. The best some tracks had to offer in some conditions were just trying to break their maidens. I know of no track/entity that has a top 20 horse in all conditions. If they field a strong team they are still going to have 'marginal' horses in some races. Every single stable in the SIM has a shot at participating in the Equinics.

Where are the races being run? All 15 dirt races are at Vermont, and all 15 turf races are at Hong Kong. If there is another edition of the Equinics in the future this is one item that will likely be reviewed.

How do I get involved with the Equinics?Hmmm. Well, as of this writing, to the best of my knowledge, all tracks except Ireland are accepting new residents. Scroll down the Tipsheets and Links page until you find one that tickles your fancy. Alternatively, Socalslew is managing the Independent Team and will be announcing specifics in the near future (a note of warning - there are about 1500 stables residing at the various tracks - which means there are about 6500+ independents).

Why Independents? Isn't that against the spirit of having track residencies? Good question. It goes with what I mentioned last night about not being able to make everyone happy. The aim of this Equinics was 'inclusion' not exclusion. An effort was made to involve as many stables as possible. In real-life many atheletes have competed under the Olympic Flag instead of a country flag due to political unrest in their countries. Who knows, maybe next time around the Equinics will be scaled way back and become more 'exclusive'.

How are the tracks picking their horses for the Equinics? From what I can see they are all doing it a little differently, but there are two main methods: elimination races and selection committees. Check with your track manager for details.

What is the Equinics' Diary? Last year a route map was prepared and the Equinics Torch travelled from participating tracks. Each track wrote a diary concerning the travels of the torch as it went from track to track. For me it was a highlight of the Equinics: some of the best writing I have seen; as well as some very funny stories. At this time I do not know if there will be another Equinics Diary.

How long does it take to put the Equinics together?Well, a very long time. Coordination with up to 20 SIM entities; email back and forth with potential sponsors; graphics and webpage stuff; running our own elimination races; I don't know..maybe 20 minutes or so...

Is there anything else I should know?Yup, but it is a secret. If you get involved with the Equinics and have fun that would be a 'good' thing. If you decide not to get involved in the Equinics you can probably still have fun.

You can read all about this year's edition of the Equinics by following this LINK