April 14, 2017
Board Members Present: William P. Brewer, Jim Engstrom, Tim Floyd (by phone), Nina Hagen, Dana Halvorson, Dr. Duane Hopp, Greg Luce, Debra Pabst and Jennifer Webber (by phone). Absent: Pam Christopherson, Mary Lou Griffin and Keith Swagerty. Staff present: M. Anne Sweet.
The meeting was called to order at 12:28 p.m. at the WTBOA offices by President Halvorson.
Previous Board Minutes: Minutes from the March 17, 2017, meeting were presented and reviewed. Brewer moved to approve the minutes as presented. Luce seconded the motion and the minutes were approved.
Finance Committee Report: Treasurer Pabst reported that all is going well with the financial reports. She noted that the negative $19,000 showing for the sale is the payout to the two consignors who were still owed proceeds from last year’s sale, so actually the bottom line at this time for 2017 is a positive $3,000.
Northwest Race Series (NWRS): Chairman Pabst reported that there has been one late two-year-old nomination in the amount of $3,500. We are waiting for a CD to mature with RBC Wealth Management. This will happen in mid-May, and then we will transfer all NWRS funds to Bank of America for investment. The total NWRS funds (including all years and stallion nominations) is a little over $231,000. It was again noted that $30,000 in NWRS funds will be paid out in the Gottstein Futurity to the top five NWRS-eligible horses, no matter where they finish.
Sales Committee Report: Chairman Webber reported that as of this date there are 100 yearlings nominated to the Summer Session. This is about five off from last year. Nominations will be accepted until April 28. Claude Lyman will act as the sale farrier this year. A thank you note will be sent to John Short thanking him for his many years of service.
A Sales Committee meeting had been held on April 11. Among the topics of discussion were some issues communicated to Sales Committee liaison Claudia Atwell Canouse by a concerned buyer. The buyer’s points of concern were as follows: 1) Using the catalog to advertise the horse, then selling it before the sale; 2) Dodging commissions owed to the WTBOA; 3) Taking advantage of the lack of understanding of the horse business on the part of Emerald Racing Club members when they strike out on their own; 4) Not holding firm to the “Conditions of Sale” when buyers try to give horses back for post sale nefarious reasons. It was discussed that all consignors should be held to a high standard of ethics, and that this should especially hold true for Sales Committee and Board members. It was also decided that a consignors’ meeting will be held just prior to the sale to discuss ethics and prerogatives; i.e., here are some of the things you can do to protect yourself and here are the potential unintended consequences.
It was noted that consignors who want to stand behind their product can do so by not bringing a horse with a known problem to the sale. Therefore, if the horse is at the sale, the consignor should feel that they are thereby standing behind their product and should feel confident in the product they are presenting.
Publications Report: Sweet reported that the spring issue of the magazine is at the printer and will be in the mail within a few days. The staff has also begun working on a new Farm & Service Directory, since the previous directory is dated 2012-14. This is usually an ongoing process for a while, so a publication date has not yet been set, but it will likely be sometime in the fall. The summer issue of the magazine will include a preview of the WTBOA Sale; an Ask the Experts column related to the sale, a people profile on Clemans View Farm, written by Katie Peery; a stallion profile on Understatement, written by Halvorson; a Hall of Fame profile; an article about American Pharoah’s specialized shoeing, reprinted from the American Farriers Journal; and an article on Stem Cell Research, by Heather Smith Thomas, as well as the other usual statistics and departments.
Washington Horse Racing Commission (WHRC)/Emerald Downs: Halvorson reported that the Emerald Downs card room is now open, following a $5-million renovation of the fifth floor. In addition to the card room, the bar has been remodeled and a simulcasting area was added, as well as a cafe. A portion of the fifthe floor terraces have been retained as the Turf Club. It was noted that the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe has again this year given $1.4-million to the purse account, as well as $400,000 in incentives to horsemen. The proceeds from the card room will go toward reimbursing those funds. The track, with help from the card room, needs to break even before funds from the card room might possibly be diverted to the purse account. Halvorson noted that Deborah Cozzetti is now the Turf Club manager.
Opening day at Emerald was good, with a $1.4-million handle on Saturday, up six percent from last year. The second day, on Sunday, was not as good. Emerald is down in number of horses from last year, and training had been difficult coming into the meet due to the weather, with only 12 dry days out of 53 days.
Bylaws Amendments: Halvorson read the proposed change for Article IV, Section 1, which is to add the following verbiage: “A majority of the Trustees must be residents of Washington State.” The Bylaws change was approved.
Goals and Initials: A list of current WTBOA members was provided to Board members. Luce requested that Board members please take some time to look at the list and check off those who they might know and note whether they are breeders, owners or both, versus handicappers and/or those who may be new to the industry, so that we know who our customers are. It was suggested that a box be added to the membership application for those who are handicappers to check. [This has been added to the online membership application. It will also be added to the printed application.]
Luce also suggested that the Board help Pabst with the Broodmare Lease Club in whatever ways they can. The mare is in foal already to Atta Boy Roy. The resulting foal will go racing; it will not be sold at the WTBOA Sale. It was suggested that a flier, along with FAQs, would be good for Board members and others to have in order to help get the word out. A Facebook page and/or a page on the Blue Ribbon Farm website were also suggested. Pabst will be seeking some assistance with these things.
Brewer and Webber have been active with the WTBOA social media, especially the Twitter account, which is also posted automatically to Facebook. Webber suggested that Foal Reports with photos could also be tweeted, which Sweet affirmed that the staff would begin doing.
Annual Membership Meeting: The date for the meeting had been set for Saturday, July 22. However, it was noted that since Emerald Downs would again be having Saturday evening racing for the month of July, the meeting would need to be held in the afternoon, prior to racing, as was done last year when the meeting was held at the WTBOA pavilion with dinner catered at the pavilion by Emerald Downs. After discussion and after confirming that there is nothing in the bylaws regarding specific timing of the annual membership meeting, it was decided that Sweet should see if the 4th floor Emerald Room was available for Saturday, August 4. [Sweet communicated with Vicki Potter of Emerald Downs’ group sales department, and unfortunately the Emerald Room is already booked for that date. It is also already booked for Saturday, June 24. The Emerald Room is available on Saturday, July 1, since evening racing doesn’t begin until the next Saturday in July; or the 3rd floor Champions level is available on Saturday, August 5. Both of the latter two dates are being tentatively held until there can be further discussion at the May 12 Board meeting.]
Keynote speakers were discussed. The following names were suggested: Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler; Washington State Department of Agriculture Region 2 Field Veterinarian Dr. Thomas Gilliom; Kentucky track man and expert in racetrack composition Mick Peterson; a TOBA representative or someone who could speak about global and national breeding; Dr. Joe Begevin’s son is back in Eastern Washington and is a reproductive veterinarian; former Three Chimney’s manager and Thoroughbred consultant Dan Rosenberg. It was suggested that some thought could be put into other possible speakers.
WSU Veterinary Student Farm Visits: Hagen informed that the students from WSU’s AAEP chapter would be coming again this year for farm visits at El Dorado Farms, as well as Blue Ribbon Farm and Griffin Place. Almost all of this year’s students are studying to be equine practitioners. They will have dinner at El Dorado Farms on Saturday evening, along with a speaker. Then on Sunday, they will do rounds at Emerald Downs with Dr. Jenyka Bergsma in the morning and have breakfast at the Quarter Chute Cafe, followed by attending the races in the afternoon.
Next Meeting Date: The next meeting was scheduled for Friday, May 12, 2017. There will be a Sales Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 23.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:20 p.m.
May 12, 2017, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Friday, June 23, 2017