May 29, 2020
WTBOA Board Members Present: Melodie Bultena, Pam Christopherson, Jim Engstrom, Mary Lou Griffin, Nina Hagen, Dana Halvorson, David Israel, Petra Lewin, Greg Luce, Debra Pabst, Jennifer Webber.
WTBOA Board Members Absent: Dr. Duane Hopp.
WTBOA Staff Members Present: M. Anne Sweet.
The meeting was called to order at 12:06 p.m. via Zoom by President Halvorson.
Previous Board Minutes: Minutes from the May 1, 2020, meeting were presented and reviewed. Bultena moved to approve the minutes as presented. Webber seconded the motion. The minutes were approved.
Finance: At this point the budget is at -$8,800 while actual is -$3,100. There is concern that the fallout from COVID-19 will negatively affect the sale, which will impact the bottom line.
Northwest Race Series (NWRS): Emerald Downs released the 2020 stakes schedule last week. It includes four NWRS stakes for two-year-olds, which will be run for $40,000 each, plus the Gottstein Futurity at $40,000, with an additional $20,000 available to NWRS nominated horses. It was agreed to set a deadline of June 21 for late nominations at a cost of $3,500 and late, late nomination deadline of July 17 at $4,000. Additionally, horses can be eligible to run for the entire Gottstein Futurity purse for an additional $5,000 at time of entry.
Sales: There was a sales committee meeting held on May 21. Entries are holding steady at 118 yearlings with a few more expected. There was much discussion regarding potential scenarios with regards to COVID-19 restrictions; however, nothing is going to be able to be decided/implemented until the sale gets closer. Webber put together a list of potential biosecurity protocols that we may need to follow. It is still the plan to utilize phone bidding and online bidding via Proxibid regardless of what kind of restrictions we are under. There is a one percent (1%) buyer sell-through fee through Proxibid that will be passed on.
Publications: Entries will be finalized end of next week and Sue can start hipping. At that point staff will be contacting people regarding advertising. There will be a ten percent (10%) discount for those that want to advertise in both the catalog and the magazine. The catalog has to go to the printer on July 1 and the magazine will go to the printer two weeks later. Ideas for a Q and A section for the magazine were discussed.
WHRC/Emerald Downs Update: Emerald Downs released a revamped stakes schedule. There will be a total of 15 Thoroughbred stakes (including the NWRS stakes), offering $680,000 in purse money, plus one AQHA Challenge Race with a $40,000 purse. It was noted that SITA (Society of International Thoroughbred Auctioneers), the organization responsible for dictating black-type, had lowered the standard to $40,000 for the remainder of 2020 due to the effects of COVID-19.
Vote for 2019 TOBA Award Winner: It was decided to give the award to Jody Peetz, not only for breeding multiple stakes winner and champion older mare NO TALKING BACK, but for her long-standing support of our Washington breeding program.
Industry Promotional Video: Still on hold until Emerald is up and running.
Goals and Initiatives: Nothing to report. Until we have a firm plan regarding what days Emerald will be racing in 2020 it is difficult to come up with ideas.
Emerald Downs’ director of broadcast publicity Joe Withee has started a podcast called Horse Racing NW. Hosted jointly by Withee and Emerald Downs media director Vince Bruun, Horse Racing NW is available on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher or at emeralddowns.com.
Board of Directors nominees: Incumbents are Jenny Webber, Dana Halvorson, Melodie Bultena and Mary Lou Griffin. Henry Leong has accepted an invitation to run. Sweet asked the incumbents to reach out to her to indicate if they are going to run again. This topic will be revisited at the next board meeting.
Annual Membership Meeting: It was decided that this years’ meeting would be held sometime in the fall.
The WSU veterinary scholarship award winner for 2020 is Conrad Reisenauer. Sweet mentioned that both the $1,000 WSU award and the $5,000 in Race for Education scholarships are both funded by the Washington Thoroughbred Foundation (WTF), which relies heavily on money raised through the sale of the Breeders’ Cup trip that is auctioned off at the annual horse sale. There is concern that this may not be feasible or as profitable as it has been these past few years.
Next meeting is scheduled for June 26 at 12 p.m. via Zoom.
It was moved by Pabst and seconded by Israel to adjourn the meeting at 1:05 p.m.
June 26, 2020, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Tuesday, July 21, 2020