If you fancy yourself as a great horse bettor, no challenge is greater than the National Horseplayers Championship, or NHC.
Founded in 1999 and run by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), the NHC is held at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The 2018 event, which will be from February 9-11.
Some tremendous prizemoney is on offer at the NHC. Last year, the contest handed out total prizes of $2,900,600. In a contest with 654 entries, made by 529 individuals (the maximum number of entries is two), the winner, 64-year-old Canadian Ray Arsenault, went home $800,000 richer. The winner also gets an Eclipse Award for Horseplayer of the Year.
The NHC is the culmination of a year of qualifying contests, in which entries can be earned. These contests are run by racetracks, off-track betting facilities, casino race books, and horse racing and handicapping websites.
Many of the qualifying events are part of the NHC Tour, a yearlong series offering additional prizemoney and NHC qualifying berths. To compete, players must obtain membership of the NHC tour for a one-time annual fee of $50. The membership must be in place before any individual qualifying tournament starts.
There are also feeder contests that can earn a place in NHC qualifying tournaments. NHC Tour membership is not compulsory for the feeder contests, though players that earn a place from these feeder contests into the qualifying tournaments will then have to take up NHC membership in order to take part.
Once qualified, the finals take place over three days in Las Vegas. In last year’s finals, players were required to place 18 mythical $2 win and place bets on the first day, and another 18 mythical $2 win and place bets on the second day.
The top 66 players from these 36 bets then contested the semifinals early on the third day, placing 10 mythical $2 win and place bets. From here, the top 10 contest the final later on the third day, placing seven more mythical $2 win and place bets.
Arsenault’s “bets” earned $407.70. The 2003 winner, Steve Wolfson Jr., finished second with $361.10 and won a prize of $250,000.
Any players interested in competing can find more details at www.ntra.com/nhc.
Welcome to TwinSpires’ Online Video Coverage from the NHC in Las Vegas
All weekend long, TwinSpiresTV’s Jill Byrne will break down all the DRF/NTRA Handicapping Championship action with video updates, interviews and player reactions.
Jill Byrne Inside the Red Rock Day 2 – NHC X Wrapup (filed 1/24/09, 7:10pm Pacific)
Jill Byrne Inside the Red Rock Day 2 – Winner John Conte (filed 1/24/09, 7:00pm Pacific)
Jill Byrne Inside the Red Rock Day 2 – Gulfstream Race 9 (filed 1/24/09, 3:45pm Pacific)
Jill Byrne Inside the Red Rock Day 2 – NHC In Full Force (filed 1/24/09, 3:22pm Pacific)
Jill Byrne Inside the Red Rock Day 2 – Day 2 Preview – Races Have Begun (filed 1/24/09, 12:45pm Pacific)
Complete Day 1 Archive Videos Below
Jill Byrne Inside the Red Rock – Day 1 Wrap Up, Day 2 Preview (filed 1/23/09, 7:00pm Pacific)
Jill Byrne Inside the Red Rock – Day 1 Leader Interview (Thomas Mooney) (filed 1/23/09, 6:30pm Pacific)
Jill Byrne Inside the Red Rock – Day 1 Near the Finish (filed 1/23/09, 4:15pm Pacific)
Jill Byrne Inside the Red Rock – Mike Watchmaker Interview (filed 1/23/09, 2:40pm Pacific)
Jill Byrne Inside the Red Rock – Heated, Mandatory Action (filed 1/23/09, 2:20pm Pacific)
Jill Byrne Inside the Red Rock – Richard Goodall Interview (filed 1/23/09, 1:50am Pacific)
Jill Byrne Inside the Red Rock – The Calm Before the Storm (filed 1/23/09, 11:30am Pacific)
Jill Byrne Arrives On Scene at the Red Rock Casino. (filed 1/22/09, 1:30pm Pacific)
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