June 1, 2018
Board Members Present: Melodie Bultena, Pam Christopherson, Tim Floyd (phone), Mary Lou Griffin, Nina Hagen (phone), Dana Halvorson, Dr. Duane Hopp, Greg Luce, Debra Pabst, Keith Swagerty, and Jennifer Webber. Absent: Jim Engstrom. 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 April 27, 2018, meeting were presented and reviewed. Bultena moved to approve the April minutes as presented. Webber seconded the motion. The minutes were unanimously approved.
Finance Committee Report: Treasurer Pabst noted that the Actual reports as compared to last year at this time would be up by about $17,000 if the track dues had been received. Emerald Downs’ 2018 live meet started two weeks later than last year. As a result, the letter to Emerald Downs regarding track dues had been mailed about two weeks later. Also of note, the Actuals include $11,900 in donated funds for the WTBOA/WHBPA Distance Series, which are not actually WTBOA funds. These funds will be moved to an Equity account so that they will no longer show under Income and thus will not be included in the WTBOA’s Net Ordinary Income figure.
[This adjustment has been made in QuickBooks.]
There has been additional maintenance expense due to some unanticipated plumbing expenses, plus upgrades and fixes that had been required following a fire safety inspection. All of these issues have been addressed and corrected.
Bid spotter Jeff Fritsch, who will be providing the new readerboard software, has been in communication with Sweet and electrician Randy Morgan. Fritsch and Morgan will be meeting in person at the sales pavilion on Friday, May 25, when Fritsch will be in the area, to make sure that there is a clear understanding of the electrical and cabling requirements.
Northwest Race Series (NWRS): Chairperson Pabst reported that there had been one late payment in the amount of $3,500 for the 2018 series. That brings the funds available for 2018 up to $151,422, with $160,000 committed. An inquiry had been made in regards to establishing a “berth system,” whereby owners or trainers who buy two-year-olds after the January 31 extended deadline (for yearlings of the previous year) could “reserve” a nomination berth for a fee. Pabst reported that this had previously been discussed. The NWRS committee was opposed to the idea at the time and is still opposed to it. It was noted that there are two late nomination deadlines for two-year-olds: one on April 15 for $3,500 and one on May 31 for $5,000. Pabst further noted that the draw for nominating to the series should be the big money that is added to the Gottstein Futurity, which is $40,000 this year (in addition to the $50,000 purse) for NWRS-eligible horses.
Sales Committee Report: Chairperson Webber reported that there are 102 yearlings nominated as of this date, less one out. Final payments are due on Friday, June 8. She noted that there had been good discussion at the last Sales Committee meeting, including how to increase buyers. Webber has started a list of potential buyers to whom personal phone calls will be made. The list was distributed to the Board, and Board members were asked to add names and/or phone numbers where they can, which can be sent to staffer Tara Homfeldt who will maintain the list with updates. The list is not for public distribution.
The Sales Committee had also looked at the budget for the sale, being cognizant of the decrease in number of entries, and had cut and redirected advertising dollars. The idea is to decrease print media presence and increase digital media presence, including social media. It was again noted that personal communication may be the most important way to reach buyers. It was also noted that a log should be kept of which buyers had been contacted and by whom, so buyers on the list weren’t missed or doubled up on. Also noted, we want to draw outside buyers, but we also want to recognize and show appreciation for local buyers.
Canouse is working on a sheet that will outline Sales Committee member responsibilities. The suggestion was also raised regarding the possibility of including walking videos of sales yearlings. Sweet stated that those could be added to the website if they are submitted to us.
Sweet asked if there was any particular preference for Mark Harman, who has a local connection, as announcer, versus Jeff Lifson, from Kentucky. It was stated that the main consideration is that the announcer should know our local horses. Sweet will communicate with auctioneer Cris Caldwell. [Sweet later communicated with Caldwell, who subsequently communicated with Harman regarding his availability. Harman is available to announce at our sale and has been confirmed as the sale’s announcer for this year.]
Publications Report: Sweet reported that staff is working concurrently on the Farm and Service Directory, the sales catalog and the summer/sale issue of the magazine. Headway has been made on the Farm and Service Directory; however, work on the Directory may be temporarily halted in order to work on the sales catalog and sale issue of the magazine.
Washington Horse Racing Commission (WHRC)/Emerald Downs Report: No report at this time, as there was no WHRC meeting in May.
Annual WTBOA Membership Meeting: The Annual Membership Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, July 1.
Dr. Claude Ragle has been confirmed as keynote speaker and will speak on the topic of airways and cryptorchism/standing ridgeling castration. The meeting will take place in the Emerald Room on the 4th Floor. We have access to the room for setup at 5:30 p.m., with guest arrival scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Food service will begin at 7:00 p.m., and the meeting will start around 7:30-7:45 p.m.
The next Board meeting will be held at noon at the sales pavilion on that same date (Sunday, July 1). Coffee and cookies or doughnuts will be provided, but not lunch. The races start at 2:00 p.m., followed by the Annual Membership Meeting in the evening, as noted above.
Door prizes in the amount of $200 were approved.
Bylaws Amendment: At the April 2018 Board meeting it had been moved, seconded and the motion passed that the Bylaws should be changed to recognize the position of Second Vice President as part of the Finance Committee, with the final vote on approval of the amendment to take place at today’s meeting. After brief discussion, Pabst moved to approve the amendment as drafted. Bultena seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Article VI, Section 6.5 will now read: “Finance Committee. The Finance Committee shall consist of the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and one member of the Board elected to the Finance Committee.”
Goals and Initiatives: Pabst reported that the Condition Book committee had accepted the new condition for Washington-breds that had been presented. Washington-breds can now run at the next higher claiming level for open claiming $5,000 and up (races cannot have conditions, including no maidens).
The Condition Book committee did not support giving Washington-breds the extra condition in allowance and $15,000 and up claiming for non-winners of two; i.e., non-winners of three for Washington-breds. There was discussion as to how to proceed next. Pabst stated that she would continue to ask for and push for this condition.
WTBOA/WHBPA Distance Series: The Distance Series is in the Condition Book. Breeders and owners should encourage their trainers to seek a horse or horses for the series or train a horse/horses for the series. Donations are still being accepted. Currently, $14,100 has been committed, in addition to the usual Emerald Downs purse monies.
New Business: Bultena had been asked by a constituent why Emerald Downs’ handle was not reported in the newspaper. The answer is because the handle alone doesn’t give a complete picture, due to variations in the racing schedule, the number of race days and how they fall from year to year.
Bultena had also been asked if there is a Washington State WAC regarding the safety of rails surrounding racetracks in Washington. Some changes are being made to the rail at Sun Downs. It was noted that Jim Sorenson would probably be a good source to ask about this, and also to check with the WHRC about the rules regarding the safety of rails.
Next Meeting Date: The next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, July 1, 2018, at noon.
Webber moved to adjourn the meeting. Hopp seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved, and the meeting was adjourned at 1:55 p.m.
July 1, 2018, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Friday, September 7, 2018