Ron Hartley has been involved in nearly every aspect of horse racing since starting his career on the Santa Anita backside some 50 years ago, including the positions of racing secretary and steward. Ron currently enjoys breeding and racing quarter horses, serves as vice-president of the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association and also devotes his time to commercial real estate development.
You have to wonder where Hartley finds the time, as he also represents California's quarter horse interests as an AQHA state director, serves on the AQHA graded stakes committee and is also on the organization's task force evaluating the current criteria for graded stakes.
Hartley served as a racing official at Santa Anita through the mid-60's, followed by accepting positions as assistant and then racing secretary at Bay Meadows. When night racing was introduced at Los Alamitos, he spent 18 years working for the Vessels family and served as a steward from 1975 to 1980. At that time he left the stand, but kept working as racing secretary for the Los Angeles and Orange County Fairs. In 1987, the HQHRA coaxed him out of retirement to work as racing secretary for the 1987 and 1988 seasons.
"After working both the backside and with racetrack management throughout my career, I have a good understanding on the challenges facing the horsemen," he said. "It's been rewarding to be involved in the successful efforts by PCQHRA and Los Alamitos to contain worker's compensation expenses for our horsemen, while increasing purses and developing a strong stakes program for all age groups. I look forward to continuing my service to California's quarter horse racing industry."