December 15, 2016
Board Members Present: Tim Floyd, Mary Lou Griffin, Dana Halvorson, Dr. Duane Hopp, Debra Pabst, John Parker, Jennifer Webber and Steve Zerda. Absent: William P. Brewer, Nina Hagen, Keith Swagerty and Candice Tollett. Guests present: new Board members Jim Engstrom and Greg Luce and Board member emeritus Claudia Canouse. Staff present: M. Anne Sweet.
The meeting was called to order at 12:40 p.m. at the WTBOA offices by President Halvorson. Halvorson introduced new staff member Tara Homfeldt, who started work on December 1, 2016, in the position of administrative assistant, replacing departed staff member Julia Wolters. New Board members Jim Engstrom and Greg Luce were also introduced. Their terms, along with re-elected incumbent Duane Hopp and additional new Board member Pam Christopherson, will officially begin in January 2017.
Previous Board Minutes: Minutes from the November 2, 2016, meeting were presented and reviewed. Pabst moved to approve the minutes as presented. Floyd seconded the motion and the minutes were approved.
Finance Committee Report: Treasurer Pabst reported that the calendar year budget, which had been presented at the previous Board meeting, had been reviewed and some slight tweaks made. The finance committee recommended approval. Hopp moved to adopt the 2017 calendar year budget as presented, including adjustments. Webber seconded the motion and the budget was approved.
As required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the WTBOA’s IRS Form 990 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, and as prepared by CPA Michael Kander, was presented to the Finance Committee and Board for review.
Northwest Race Series (NWRS): Chairman Pabst reported that the NWRS has a healthy balance and carry forward amount. She noted that she anticipated perhaps having as much as $150,000 available for the 2017 series. She will recommend the same NWRS program for 2017 as for 2016, with the possibility of increasing the funds added to the Gottstein Futurity from $10,000 to $25,000. If the funds are available, it has also been suggested that some funds might be added to two three-year-old stakes – the Washington Oaks and the Emerald Downs Derby. This will be reviewed in early January when there will be a better idea of the funds that came in by year’s end.
Sales Committee Report: Chairman Griffin reported that the next committee meeting will be scheduled for February. There are still three horses that need to be paid for – one $500 horse purchased by Howard Gibson, for which the consignor has been paid, but he still owes for the horse; and two horses purchased “on spec” by Jeff Metz, of which he has paid about half. These two horses were consigned by Dr. Rodney Orr and Ron and Nina Hagen. Both Metz and Gibson are being charged interest. If needed, we will go to the Washington Horse Racing Commission once the trainers and horses are back on the grounds, but it is hoped that won’t be necessary.
Sweet noted that the Ocala Breeders Sale (OBS) had been moved to a later date, in October, so it will no longer conflict with the WTBOA sale in August, which may allow us to once again enlist Mark Harman as announcer and Pete McCormick as a ringman (bidspotter).
Publications Report: Sweet reported that 2017 calendars were now available and that the Winter Stallion Register issue of the magazine was at the printer. In addition to the stallion statistical pages and advertising, content for the Stallion Register will include a profile on Ed and Jean Welch and a profile on Washington Racing Hall of Famer Herman Sarkowsky, as well as stakes recaps and other relevant news and statistics. A Publications meeting will take place after the next Board meeting to be scheduled in January. Engstom and Luce volunteered to help with Publications.
Washington Horse Racing Commission (WHRC)/Emerald Downs: Emerald Downs had submitted a letter officially requesting a 70-day race meet for 2017, with live racing commencing on Saturday, April 8, and concluding on Sunday, September 17. They requested a 6:30 p.m. post time on weekdays and a 2:00 p.m. post time on weekends and holidays, with a special 5:00 p.m. post time on Saturday, April 8 (opening night), and Monday, July 3. They also requested special post times of 6:30 p.m. on four Saturdays in July – July 8, 15, 22, and 29. The WHRC approved all of the requested dates and times.
Emerald Downs’ fifth floor renovations are in progress. The Barbara Shinpoch Room will remain in place, but there will be updates throughout the rest of the floor to accommodate the card room, as well as other amenities. It was noted that long-time concierge Dave Nielsen had left, since there will no longer be a Turf Club.
Annual Awards Banquet: The awards banquet is scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2017. New staffer Homfeldt, along with temporary staffer Susie Sharp, and Sweet have begun to work on the silent auction and sponsorships. Staffer Sue van Dyke will be meeting with the Awards Selection Committee on December 28 to determine the year-end awards. Emerald Downs Director of Broadcasting Joe Withee will again act as emcee and Dean Mazzuca will act as auctioneer for the live auction portion. Halvorson noted that Withee had asked if Washington-bred Quarter Horse Heza Dash of Fire should be recognized as the all-time leading Washington-bred by earnings. Halvorson asked for the Board’s input on this, but it was decided that the annual awards banquet should continue to recognize only Thoroughbreds and participants in the Thoroughbred industry.
Bylaws Amendment: A recent change in the Bylaws had been voted on via e-mail. In the opinion of Board member and attorney Brewer, it was been determined at the time of voting that this qualified as a special meeting as outlined in the Bylaws. Pabst noted that she objected to this interpretation and suggested that verbiage regarding Board members’ residency in Washington or elsewhere be reviewed and revisited. It was her suggestion that the Bylaws might be amended to limit seats on the Board to no more than one or two out-of-state members. Pabst will present amended verbiage at the next Board meeting.
Annual Membership Meeting: Sweet requested a decision regarding the date of the annual membership meeting. It was noted that Emerald Downs will once again be having evening racing on Saturdays in July, so the meeting will again need to be held at the WTBOA Pavilion in the afternoon prior to evening racing. It was also noted that the Equine Art Show is the weekend of July 14-16, making preparation for both events difficult in the same week. Suggested dates were either Saturday, July 8, or Saturday, July 22. The date of July 22 was decided upon.
Next Meeting Date: It was noted that the Keeneland Sale dates are January 9-13 and Barretts Sale will be on January 17. The Pegasus World Cup Championship will be on January 28 at Gulfstream. It was decided that the next meeting would be scheduled for Tuesday, January 24, 2017. It will be followed by a Publications meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
January 24, 2017, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Friday, February 17, 2017