November 22, 2021
WTBOA Board Members Present Mary Lou Griffin, Nina Hagen, Dana Halvorson, David Israel, Henry Leong, Petra Lewin, Greg Luce, Debra Pabst, Jennifer Webber.
WTBOA Board Members Absent: Jim Engstrom, Dr. Duane Hopp, Pam Christopherson.
WTBOA Staff Members Present: M. Anne Sweet.
The meeting was called to order at 12:24 p.m. via Zoom by President Halvorson.
Previous Board Minutes: Minutes from the October 14, 2021, meeting were presented and reviewed. Griffin moved to approve the minutes as presented. Leong seconded the motion. The minutes were approved.
Finance: Track dues have been received and are $10,500, up from $6,700 last year but still down from $18,000 in 2019. Overall, things are going as predicted. Nothing of great concern at this point. The finance committee needs to work on next year’s budget but at this point there are too many unknown variables. There will most likely need to be some serious budget cuts made for next year.
Northwest Race Series: Change in staff at The Jockey Club initiated changes in black-type requirements and the way money is distributed for the NWRS stakes. Because of this, an additional $5,000 was needed for the Angie C. Stakes, plus $500 for each of the other three stakes, in order to keep their black-type status for 2021. Emerald Downs recognized the importance of maintaining black-type for these two-year-old stakes and generously contributed half of the amount that was needed ($6,500), with the NWRS contributing the other half. This resulted in a $17,000 rollover in the NWRS account instead of $20,000. Pabst reminded everyone to nominate their horses before the December 31 deadline and that there is the option to secure a NWRS spot for $50 for those planning to buy horses after the deadline to pinhook into the WTBOA Sale .
Sales: Locals picked up a handful of pinhooks at Keeneland November but nothing else to report.
Stallion Season Auction: The stallion season auction is fast approaching and the board was reminded that everyone needs to pitch in and help procure seasons. Halvorson reported that Darby Dan will donate seasons. Several stallions were discussed and members are still working to procure seasons. Leong also emphasized the need for participation from everyone.
Publications: Staff is working on the calendar and Stallion Register. Printing for the calendar is fully covered by banner and button ad sponsorships; hoping for a few more sponsors in order to cover postage. Stallion Register is on par with last year with 11 stallions. There has been discussion about making changes with the magazine for next year. There was discussion about eliminating the summer issue entirely and producing spring and fall as online only with the one print issue being in the winter/Stallion Register issue. Sweet mentioned the fact that the new GM will most likely not have the graphic arts experience needed to produce the magazine. There was discussion about putting the calendar (for 2023) into the 2022 budget with the option to drop it depending on how the sale goes.
WHRC/Emerald Downs update: The owners’ and breeders’ awards checks should be mailed out this week. Awards are up significantly this year.
Emerald Downs submitted dates for review. They asked for 52 days and have plans to incorporate new incentives for trainers.
The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) rules have been released for review. They are accepting public comments through the end of the year. The WHRC is still unclear of the cost of HISA. States have the option of opting out of HISA, but if they do, they will not be allowed to simulcast.
Lobbyist Al Ralston and Senator Fortunado both sat in on the November meeting. They discussed the Texas-style legislation that will be introduced during the legislative session that begins in January. It was noted that the ways and means committee will be a big hurdle in getting the legislation passed and one of the ways around this may be by adding a sunset clause to the bill.
Old Business: Lewin talked to Emerald Downs director of broadcast publicity Joe Withee and is making some progress with Emerald Downs regarding the industry video, which will be key in introducing our industry to state legislators as they consider the proposed sales tax bill (see above). Lewin is planning to set up some short interviews with the Emerald video department in order to get the video finished.
Goals and Initiatives: See above.
Annual Awards Banquet: Emerald Downs is booking events now. They carried the 2021 booking for the annual awards banquet over into 2022 for February 26. There will be somewhat limited seating. May have to adjust plans, depending on the current COVID restrictions as the date gets closer. It was discussed to have the banquet and silent auction separate this year, with plans to have the silent auction around the end of March/beginning of April. Possibly a live auction to auction off the Super Table and/or a few other items and/or desserts at the awards banquet.
Generald Manager Position: There was some discussion regarding the general manager position. There will be two interviews held tomorrow, with a third possible candidate that the board is interested in interviewing. The interview committee will email the board with their thoughts after the initial interviews have been conducted.
The next meeting will be scheduled after the interviews for general manager have taken place.
It was moved by Leong and seconded by Hagen to adjourn the meeting at 2:06 p.m. The meeting was adjourned.
No meeting held in December 2021
January 20, 2022, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Next Meeting Date
February 23, 2022