February 17, 2017
Board Members Present: William P. Brewer (by phone), Jim Engstrom, Tim Floyd, Mary Lou Griffin, Dana Halvorson, Greg Luce, Debra Pabst and Keith Swagerty. Absent: Pam Christopherson, Nina Hagen, Dr. Duane Hopp and Jennifer Webber. Staff present: M. Anne Sweet.
The meeting was called to order at 12:25 p.m. at the WTBOA offices by President Halvorson.
Previous Board Minutes: Minutes from the January 24, 2017, meeting were presented and reviewed. Griffin moved to approve the minutes as presented. Floyd seconded the motion and the minutes were approved.
Finance Committee Report: Treasurer Pabst noted that just the month of January was available for review in the new fiscal year. There are two people who still haven’t paid for a total of three sales horses from the August 2016 sale. They have been sent certified letters notifying them that we will be going to the Washington Horse Racing Commission if the past due accounts are not cleared up very soon.
Northwest Race Series (NWRS): Chairman Pabst reported that $150,000, including a $21,000 rollover from last year, has been allocated for the 2017 NWRS. Four two-year-old stakes (Angie C., Emerald Express, WTBOA Lads and Barbara Shinpoch) have been allocated $20,000 each, plus $10,000 each for Nominated Sire Awards. The Gottstein Futurity has also been allocated an additional $30,000, making it a $95,000 purse for NWRS-eligible horses. The $30,000 will be paid to the top five NWRS finishers, regardless of where they place (split as follows: 55 percent, 20 percent, 15 percent, 7.5 percent and 2.5 percent). It was noted that there had been some discussion about changing the length of the Gottstein, but it was kept at 1 1/16 miles because it is safer for two-year-olds when going into the first turn.
WTBOA Sales Incentive Program (SIP) and WTBOA Homebred Incentive Program (WHIP): In 2016, $6,000 was paid out for the WHIP program – six $1,000 bonuses for two-year-olds who broke their maidens at $25,000 and up maiden claiming. This year the program will expand to include three-year-olds.
Three-year-olds will also be added to the SIP program this year, in addition to the two-year-olds. There will continue to be a $2,500 bonus if a SIP-eligible horse breaks its maiden in a maiden special weight, allowance or stakes race, or a $1,000 bonus at the $25,000 maiden claiming level and above. Coincidentally, a total of $6,000 in SIP funds was also paid out in 2016.
To date, $15,590 has been raised in the Stallion Season Auction. In past years, the Stallion Season Auction funds were split equally between SIP and WHIP. Currently, SIP is in good shape financially, as it receives nomination monies from both consignors and buyers, so this year all of the Stallion Season Auction funds will go to WHIP. The Homebred Incentive Program is approved on a year-to-year basis, depending on the availability of adequate funding. It was noted that there are still some stallion seasons available in the Stallion Season Auction. [Since this meeting, an additional $1,400 in seasons have been sold, bringing the total to $16,990 as of March 15.]
Sales Committee Report: Jenny Webber was elected as the new chairman for this year. In her absence, former committee chairman Griffin reported on the Sales Committee meeting that took place on February 14. Some of the discussion items were as follows:
- A new tent will be needed for the Buyers’ Corner, as a result of normal wear and tear over a period of years.
- To get this year’s sale started, the Washington Thoroughbred Foundation will be putting together a Breeders’ Cup trip to auction off prior to selling Hip 1. Pabst has purchased two tickets to Breeders’ Cup and Sophia McKee, in her new position with a boutique hotel, has offered hotel accommodations.
- This year the catalog will start with the letter A for the dams’ names.
- There was discussion regarding the two horses from last year’s sale that still need to be paid for. It was noted that the buyer of these horses will not be extended credit without an agent authorization and established credit.
- Washington State is now requesting haul slips for all horses entered in the sale. This is tied to the brand inspections. Pabst will contact the Department of Agriculture to see if we can be exempted.
- We will be doing away with tail tags, since microchips will be required beginning in 2018, with many breeders already using them beginning this year. The WTBOA will purchase a microchip reader.
- There was discussion regarding contract labor versus casual labor. Beginning this year, casual labor individuals will be treated as employees.
- The sales committee is looking into weekly catalog updates through The Jockey Club Information Services equineline.com. The cost is $13 per horse and the updates follow black-type rules. There would be a setup fee if we want them to switch to stakes rules to be consistent with our catalog.
Publications Report: Sweet reported that the staff is focused on the Awards Banquet at this time, but has also begun working on the Spring issue of the magazine. She presented several proposed topics that had been sent to her by writer Heather Smith Thomas. These topics included: EHV-1 update, dealing with hoof cracks in racehorses, new techniques in stem cell therapy, influenza in horses and dealing with chronic founder. It was noted that all would be good topics.
Luce mentioned seeing several good articles in the Farriers Journal and offered to contact them to inquire about their policy regarding reprints.
Washington Horse Racing Commission (WHRC)/Emerald Downs: Halvorson reported regarding a couple of claiming rule changes – one requires trainers to take off wraps in the paddock once the horse has been saddled; the other states that if a horse is claimed but then breaks down and must be euthanized within a set period of time, the person putting in the claim will then get his/her money back.
The fifth floor renovation at Emerald Downs is in progress. It will include a card room and simulcast section, as well as a renovated bar area and a new cafe. A portion will be retained as the Turf Club. The $5-million project is scheduled to open the week prior to the Emerald Downs meet. Income from the card room will not go to increase purses at this time, but will go toward making up fund shortages that so far have been absorbed.
Annual Awards Banquet: Sweet reported that the banquet is in pretty good shape. The number of reservations has already far exceeded the number of reservations in past years. The silent auction has received a lot of help from procurements made by Bryson Cooper and the live auction has benefitted from donations made by John Parker and others. She emphasized the need for help with setup on the day of the banquet.
Bylaws Amendments: Two Bylaws amendments were discussed. For the position of 2nd Vice President, six Board members were nominated; however, all six declined. It was felt that the Bylaws requirement that the 2nd Vice President chair the Annual Awards Banquet and silent auction had deterred those people from running.
It was noted that there had been discussion in the Finance Committee meeting (prior to today’s Board meeting) that we seek out a “volunteer” to help orchestrate the event, who could be compensated for doing this. About $20,000 is raised annually, so some money could be put toward compensating an organizer. Karen Proffitt and Susie Sharp have both helped in the past and both have expressed a willingness to help in the future. Sharp has been compensated to help in recent years. Proffitt was unable to help this year, but may be able to help in the future. Engstrom may know some people through his business that could help.
The following proposed Bylaws changes will be voted on at the next WTBOA Board meeting:
Bylaws Article IV, Section 1 – Incorporate the following verbiage: “At any time, no more than two currently serving Trustees may be out-of-state residents.” Currently, there is one out-of-state Board member (Trustee).
Bylaws Article VI, Section 2 – The proposal is to eliminate the requirement that the 2nd Vice President should organize the Awards Banquet. It was noted that while this implemented to solve a problem and was a good idea, but it isn’t working as intended. The duty of organizing the Annual Membership Meeting will remain in the Bylaws.
WTBOA Officer Elections: The following officers were elected – President Dana Halvorson, 1st Vice President Greg Luce, Secretary Jenny Webber, Treasurer Debbie Pabst, and Finance Committee Member Mary Lou Griffin. Engstrom and Swagerty accepted nominations for the vacant 2nd Vice President position. That vote will take place at the next Board meeting.
New Business: Luce initiated a discussion regarding current goals, including the idea of mentoring newcomers in yearling sales prep and best practices related to broodmares and breeding. What is it that could be done to create enthusiasm like was created with the Emerald Racing Club? It was noted the Sophia McKee, who started the Emerald Racing Club, had been vested in coaching, teaching and training. How do we give people helpful information on how to get ahead successfully in this industry? Perhaps there are some things that we could work on with Emerald Downs that could go along with the racing club, in addition to continuing the farm visits.
It was noted that breeding takes a long time from conception to foaling to yearling sale and/or to racing, so the need is to start with the passion and excitement of owning a racehorse and then grow into breeding and owning a broodmare.
Engstrom noted that he and Jody Peetz are working on an owners’ seminar. He will also communicate with Brewer, who initiated the idea of the Broodmare Club, and Luce to get their thoughts and input – perhaps it could be a broodmare lease program rather than buying a mare – perhaps a one-year lease or partial lease in a broodmare or a foal.
Floyd noted that he has had success with offering that for 20 percent ownership in a foal, that person gets to name the foal.
It was also noted that it helps to keep interest and involvement if people are able to be involved in a number of different aspects.
Next Meeting Date: The next meeting was scheduled for Friday, March 17, 2017.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:10 p.m.
March 17, 2017, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Friday, April 14, 2017