February 23, 2022
WTBOA Board Members Present Mel Bultena, Pam Christopherson, Mary Lou Griffin, Nina Hagen, Dana Halvorson, Henry Leong, Petra Lewin, Greg Luce, Debra Pabst, Jenny Webber.
WTBOA Board Members Absent: Jim Engstrom, Dr. Duane Hopp.
WTBOA Staff Members Present: M. Anne Sweet, Ann-Kathrin Zemann.
The meeting was called to order at 12:31 p.m. via zoom by President Halvorson.
Previous Board Minutes: Minutes from the January 20, 2022, meeting were presented and reviewed. Bultena moved to approve the minutes as presented. Leong seconded the motion. The minutes were approved.
Ann-Kathrin (Anni) Zemann was introduced as the new general manager of the WTBOA.
Officers for 2022 are as follows:
President: Dana Halvorson
1st Vice President: Mary Lou Griffin
2nd Vice President: Henry Leong
Secretary: Jenny Webber
Treasurer: Debbie Pabst
Finance: Melodie Bultena
Finance: The Committee discussed Blue Chip Thoroughbreds outstanding debt and whether the organization should write Steve McPherson off as bad debt, take him to small claims court, send to a collection agency or other options. It was decided that a professional opinion is needed. He still owes the WTBOA over $7,000 stemming from the 2020 sale.
Overall the financial picture for the organization is as expected.
Northwest Race Series: Currently the NWRS has $124,831 to distribute. There may be additional late nominations. Deadlines for late nominations will be May 13 for $3,500 and June 24 for $5,000. Emerald Downs raised the Oaks, Derby and Distaff stakes purses to $75,000. The Longacres Mile, which is no longer a Gr. 3 race, is at $150,000.
Sales: There was a sales committee meeting held on February 16. The preliminary budget is on target with last year’s budget.
The sale will be held August 23 and starting letter will be K. Sales barn manager Les Shannon has gone through the barns and made of list of needed repairs. He and Bill are hoping to meet with Vern Baze this spring and get everything fixed prior to August. There was discussion at the meeting regarding improving internet connectivity to ensure that online bidding goes smoothly and Sweet and Zemann are investigating. Also discussed was allowing Quarter Horses and/or shares in Thoroughbreds to be offered at the sale. It was decided to table the Quarter Horse idea until the committee can gather more information. Webber is looking into how the Australian sales companies handle shares. This led to discussion of adding OTTBs to the sale. Various committee members are looking into the pros and cons of the idea and they will report back at the next meeting.
Early bird nominations for yearlings close March 25 and late nominations close April 29. Mixed sale entries close mid May.
The next sales committee meeting is scheduled for April 13.
The stallion season auction brought in a little over $70,000 to allocate within the organization.
The sales committee chose to distribute $10,000 to the stakes bonuses which will begin in 2023. These bonuses will be added to the Irish Day and the Kent Stakes. Pabst reminded the group that stakes bonuses only get paid to progeny sired by stallions whose season sold in the Stallion Season Auction. It is hoped that eventually there will be a nomination fee for horses to be eligible for the bonus but there will be no nomination fee the first year.
There is quite a bit of competition in the stallion season auctions now and Pabst commended Leong for his hard work on the auction. Sweet reported that 40 percent of the seasons were sold in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia and 60 percent to all other states/provinces.
There will be $4,000 added to the WaHIP (Washington Homebred Incentive Program) fund bringing the balance to $9,000 for 2022, $20,000 will be put towards SIP (Sales Incentive Program) bringing that balance to $36,000, and $37,723 will be put in the general fund.
Publications: Sweet and van Dyke are working on the Spring/Champions issue. They are planning to send it to the printer just prior to the banquet. Sweet is willing to continue to work on the magazine, catalog and website as Zemann gets more familiar with the process.
The website is continuing to operate with the same theme as in the past. Sweet and Venessa Koehn figured out the issues and were able to resolve the problems that were affecting the site earlier this year.
WHRC/Emerald Downs update: There was information shared on the tax bill at the February WHRC (Washington Horse Racing Commission) meeting. This information has now become outdated.
Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler reported that the 2022 meet will run without restrictions. He mentioned that they will be petitioning for the Longacres Mile to get its graded stakes status back.
Sun Downs will again be held over three weekends this year. April 23-24, April 30-May 1 and Derby weekend, May 7-8.
There was discussion about the Annual Health and Safety Report from the 2021 Emerald Downs season. Sweet included the report in the board packet.
Old Business: HB 1928 passed out of the House. There is a Senate hearing scheduled for February 24. There is a continued push for horsemen to voice their support. It was noted that lobbyist Al Ralston has done a great job in helping to get this bill moving forward.
Awards Banquet: Live auction items and raffle items are still needed for the banquet, as well as ideas for a large raffle item. There should be seven to ten live auction items, including the super table. Bultena suggested offering raffle tickets to people who can’t be present for the Awards Banquet.
There will not be a requirement for proof of vaccination for the Awards Banquet. Emerald Downs will require masks to be worn for entry. It will be at the WTBOA’s discretion whether or not masks are required once entering the banquet floor. It was decided to make masks optional unless COVID changes between now and then. Zemann mentioned that help will be needed setting up at Emerald Downs on the morning of the banquet.
Halvorson mentioned that the Awards Banquet would also be a celebration of Sweet’s retirement, as well as a thank you for all that she has done for the organization.
Goals and Initiatives: Nothing to report as the focus needs to be on getting the sales tax bill passed.
New Business: It was decided to not hold a March meeting due to the Awards Banquet. The next meeting will be held April 6 at 12:15 p.m.
Leong reminded the group that the drawing for the stallion bonuses should be held at the Awards Banquet.
Griffin mentioned that the CTBA (California Thoroughbred Breeders Association) sent a letter asking for monetary donations to help with legislative support and she wondered if that would be something we should consider doing as well. Griffin volunteered to forward the letter. Sweet and Zemann will share it with the WHBPA (Washington Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association).
It was moved by Lewin and seconded by Pabst to adjourn the meeting at 1:52 p.m. The meeting was adjourned.
April 6, 2022, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Next Meeting Date
May 18, 2022