April 29, 2019
Board Members Present: Melodie Bultena, Pam Christopherson, Mary Lou Griffin, Nina Hagen, Dana Halvorson, Dr. Duane Hopp, David Israel, Greg Luce, Debra Pabst, and Jennifer Webber (phone). Absent: Jim Engstrom and Petra Lewin. Staff present: M. Anne Sweet.
The meeting was called to order at 12:30 p.m. at the WTBOA offices by President Halvorson.
Previous Board Minutes: Minutes from the March 26, 2019, meeting were presented and reviewed. Bultena moved to approve the minutes as presented. Webber seconded the motion. The minutes were unanimously approved.
Finance Committee Report: Chairman Pabst reported that the budget is in the negative for the calendar year. There was nothing surprising or unexpected to report. She noted that there is a need to increase memberships in regards to the WTBOA Washington Homebred Incentive Program (WaHIP, formerly WHIP, see motion below) by making people aware of the program. She also noted that one owner of a three-year-old Sales Incentive Program (SIP) eligible runner was not a WTBOA member this year and therefore lost out on the bonus, as well as other benefits. The staff does make a concerted effort to try and notify the owners of eligible horses. [Note: This gentleman has since joined the WTBOA.] Israel noted that he and his partners have earned a $2,500 SIP bonus for the third year in a row.
Northwest Race Series (NWRS): Chairman Pabst reported that there was a total of $16,500 in NWRS stallion nominations for the 2022 NWRS (mares covered in 2019, foals of 2020, yearlings of 2021). Staff had contacted the managers and owners of all previously nominated stallions, as well as other currently active stallions.
Sales Committee Report: Chairman Webber reported that as of this date there were 89 entries, with six or seven other entries possibly still to come. Several Board members knew of additional entries that may be coming in. It was hoped that we might reach 100 entries. There are three yearlings by Primal Instinct, who had his first winner the previous weekend. Lester Shannon has been hired as the barn manager for this year’s sale. He has helped Floyd Hughes on sale day for the last few years, and he had worked the sales under previous barn manager Joe Pirone. Having a representative at one or more Breakfasts at the Wire will be discussed at the next Sales Committee meeting. It was also noted that a “Save the Date” flier will be sent out.
Publications Report: Sweet reviewed the projected content for the Summer issue of the magazine, which will include a preview of the Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale, an article about pre-purchase exams and sales prep for yearlings by Heather Smith Thomas, and Washington Racing Hall of Fame profiles on Jack Hodge and Peterhof’s Patea (who was bred by Hodge), among other regularly scheduled columns, such as stakes winners, etc. Sweet asked if any of the Board member consignors would be willing to participate in a Q & A on sales prep to go along with the Smith Thomas article. Pabst volunteered. Questions will be prepared and sent to potential responders.
Sweet also noted that we will be offering our usual ten percent discount to advertisers who advertise in both the sales catalog and the magazine. This year we will expand that to offer a ten percent discount for catalog advertising and a 20 percent discount for magazine advertising for those who advertise in both the catalog and the magazine. The catalog will be out about one month prior to the sale and the magazine will be out about two weeks prior to the sale. Suggestions for potential advertisers included Blackfish Distillery, craft breweries, Budweiser, Woodford Reserve, 14 Hands, and Dark Horse wines.
Washington Horse Racing Commission (WHRC)/Emerald Downs Report: It was noted that Commissioner Everett Macomber had a stroke, but that he is okay. He attended the April commission meeting by phone. It was Commissioner Jeff Colliton’s last meeting. Dr. Claude Ragle will be replacing him on the commission and has attended the last two meetings by phone. Colliton and WHRC Executive Secretary Moore reported about a recent ARCI (Association of Racing Commissioners International) meeting. Most of the discussions had centered on the high number of equine fatalities that had been experienced at Santa Anita, as well as possible causes and steps that were being taken to rectify the situation and help avoid future incidents. It was suspected that the unusually high and unprecedented amount of rainfall within a short period of time may have been a contributing factor.
Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler reported that Emerald is being proactive on these issues and has put protocols in place. They will be meeting with trainers and jockeys to stress the importance of these measures. Currently the horse count is up a little over last year at the same time period. He also noted that media coverage of Emerald Downs has been positive.
The Environment Assessment of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe Emerald Downs Fee-to-Trust Project was discussed. The comment period ends on May 6. It was confirmed that a letter of support will be sent. Sweet was asked to talk to Washington Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (WHBPA) Executive Director MaryAnn O’Connell about their position and to see if a joint WTBOA/WHBPA letter of support could be sent. [Note: A joint letter was written and mailed on May 2, 2019. It was signed by Halvorson, Sweet, WHBPA President Pat LePley, and O’Connell as representing both organizations and our memberships.]
Hagen noted that they had hosted members of the Muckleshoot 4-H Equine Program at El Dorado Farms to introduce them to Thoroughbreds. It was highly successful and well received. Hagen hopes to continue the program in order to help foster the Muckleshoot youth’s interest in the equine in general and in Thoroughbreds and horse racing.
Annual Membership Meeting: The date for the Annual Membership Meeting is set for Saturday, July 13, 2019, at 12:30 p.m. at Emerald Downs (Emerald Room, 4th Floor). Possible keynote speakers were discussed. Dr. Claude Ragel was again suggested, because he had given such an outstanding talk last year, or Dr. Ahmed Tibary, both from Washington State University. Hagen said she would contact Dr. Ragle regarding his thoughts and/or the availability of either himself or Dr. Tibary. [Note: Hagen has contacted Dr. Ragle and he has agreed to speak again.]
Goals and Initiatives: Luce noted that he would like to see another positive change implemented in the Emerald Downs Condition Book. The claiming change that had been requested last year was added (i.e., Washington-breds had the option of being entered for a higher claiming price than non-WA-breds) and was kept again for this year. Luce suggested that now we try to get added that Washington-breds would be able to run with two wins in non-winners of two races.
It was noted that we need to do research in order to show Emerald Downs that many other tracks are doing this, showing charts with the same conditions at other tracks. It was also noted that the WHBPA would need to be on board and in agreement in order to get this implemented. Israel offered to help make a presentation to Emerald Downs Racing Secretary Bret Anderson and Vice President Jack Hodge. Luce will spearhead the committee and will help collect and collate the information. The following Board members offered to check the conditions at the following respective tracks: Luce, Arizona; Israel, Laurel and Parx; Halvorson, Golden Gate Fields; Pabst, Oaklawn and Belmont; and Bultena, Grants Pass. It was suggested that committee members look for allowance races with something for state-breds written in. Committee members were to contact Luce with by the evening of Wednesday, May 8, with their findings.
Israel noted that it would be good to capture Portland Meadows horses after the Portland track closes. One possible idea he mentioned was a two-year-old festival of racing that could take place on Tuesdays or Wednesdays (so it wouldn’t compete with football) in the fall after the Emerald Downs meet.
Griffin suggested that it might be interesting to share online articles of interest with other Board members and asked if there was interest in this, and if so, how this might be facilitated. It was decided that links to such articles could be sent to Sweet and she would disseminate them to the rest of the Board.
WTBOA Washington Homebred Incentive Program: It was moved by Pabst and seconded by Luce that we change the acronym for the WTBOA Washington Homebred Incentive Program from WHIP to WaHIP. The motion was unanimously approved. It was again noted that we need to continue to remind people about the WaHIP program and that people need to be WTBOA members in order to be eligible for the bonus. It was also noted that the Sales Incentive Program could be referred to or marketed as $IP.
WTBOA/WHBPA Horsemen Helping Horsemen Distance Series: Jody Peetz is again spearheading the distance race series. Donation forms were provided to Board members. To date there has been $17,000 pledged, which exceeds last year’s pledges. The WTBOA is once again collecting the pledge money and holding it until the series takes place later in the meet.
Next Meeting Date: The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, 2019.
It was moved by Hopp and seconded by Luce to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried and the meeting was adjourned at 2:40 p.m.
May 21, 2019, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Tuesday, June 25, 2019