October 19, 2018
Board Members Present: Melodie Bultena, Pam Christopherson, Tim Floyd, Mary Lou Griffin, Nina Hagen, Dana Halvorson, Greg Luce, Debra Pabst, Keith Swagerty, and Jennifer Webber. Absent: Jim Engstrom and Dr. Duane Hopp (work). Staff present: M. Anne Sweet.
The meeting was called to order at 1:00 p.m. at the WTBOA offices by President Halvorson.
Previous Board Minutes: Minutes from the September 7, 2018, meeting were presented and reviewed. Bultena moved to approve the minutes as presented. Hagen seconded the motion. The minutes were unanimously approved.
Washington Cup 2018: The six stakes races were presented over three race days on three separate weekends, rather than all on one day, as in the past. It was noted that the party packages were not quite as attractive as in the past and it was hard to decide which day to celebrate if someone was having a party. It was also noted that while the three-year-old races were “light” on the first weekend, having the races spread over three weekends allowed those three-year-olds to come back on the final weekend for the three-year-old and up races, which helped the field sizes for those races. Sweet was asked to contact Emerald Downs regarding attendance and handle for this year’s WA Cup versus last year’s. [Information was subsequently received from Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler and was emailed to the Board. It will also be included in the next Board meeting packet.]
Finance Committee Report: Treasurer Pabst noted that track dues have been requested from Emerald Downs. She also noted that the budget is being worked on and we are looking at ways to reduce expenses, especially as related to the sale. All sales horses have been paid for. There was a shortfall of $2,000 for the Sales Incentive Progam (SIP) bonus fund, so funds in that amount were transferred from the WTBOA Homebred Incentive Program (WHIP) bonus fund. Since the Stallion Season Auction funds from the previous year had been arbitrarily divvied up between those two programs, this was an acceptable solution for this year.
Stallion Season Auction: This year $33,000 was paid out in SIP bonuses, compared to $3,000 paid out in WHIP bonuses. As had been hoped when the SIP bonuses were initiated, owners and trainers are becoming more aware of the program and are entering their sales horses in order to win a bonus. We need to continue to fund both programs through the Stallion Season Auction.
A committee consisting of Griffin, Pabst, Swagerty, Webber (phone) and Sweet met and held a conference phone conversation with Brandi Jo Fett of the Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association regarding Iowa’s very successful online Stallion Season Auction and how it is run. It is an online auction that is hosted on Thoroughlybred.com. We have set up an online auction to follow the week after the Iowa auction. The WTBOA auction dates for online bidding will be December 16-23.
It was noted that the keys to success will be:
- Getting stallion seasons
- Encouraging clients to buy seasons
- Getting out-of-state stallion seasons – Board members are asked to contact any farms that they do business with, as well as other farms
- Getting the word out that bidders from across the country can bid on all seasons
Money raised will support the SIP and WHIP programs, although it is hoped that the Stallion Season Auction can grow to also provide awards and/or a race (perhaps a stakes race, but not necessarily black-type) for eligible progeny of stallions whose seasons have sold. The first racing season for eligible horses would be in 2022.
Northwest Race Series (NWRS): Chairman Pabst reported that there is about $31,000 in the Carry Forward account for 2019 after all 2018 awards were paid, including $40,000 for the Gottstein Futurity.
Sales Committee Report: Chairman Webber reported that there was a long sales committee meeting held on October 10, discussing a wide variety of topics. The sale went fairly smoothly, with no big hiccups. Sales barn manager Floyd Hughes will continue to help with the sale, but we do need to find a replacement for him, if anyone has any thoughts or ideas. There is also a need for looking at ways to cut expenses, recruit horses, and/or trying to get the California people up here to sell. There was a good turnout of buyers, except for those from California. It was noted that we need to focus on our local buyers, including continuing with the SIP bonuses, etc. More information and updates regarding the sale will be forthcoming as time goes on.
Publications Report: Sweet reported that the Farm and Service Directory had finally been completed and was in the mail. Staff is working on the Fall and Winter issues of the magazine, with the Winter/Stallion Register and Stallion Season Auction being the priority. There was discussion about moving the Summer issue of the magazine to earlier in the year, although this would impact sales advertising in that issue, since it would have to come out early enough that it wouldn’t impact production and publication of the sales catalog.
Washington Horse Racing Commission (WHRC)/Emerald Downs Report: At the October 12 meeting of the WHRC, Brian Considine, Legal and Legislative Manager for the Washington State Gambling Commission, gave an overview of sports betting. This topic will also be discussed at the Global Symposium on Racing that will be held in Tucson, Arizona, in early December. For legislation in Washington, legislative sponsors for a bill would be needed. Currently, there is no industry lobbyist, or we would need to get joint lobbyist. WHBPA President Pat LePley is writing a letter, which he hoped would be a joint letter from the WHBPA and WTBOA, and has proposed a bill that would write in money for purses, breeders’ awards, the Class C tracks, etc. Emerald Downs has the infrastructure to become a sports betting hub. LePley suggested that a bill would need to be introduced in November and suggested that it be built on agriculture, which would garner support from the Farm Bureau and Grange. Sweet was asked to contact WHBPA Executive Director MaryAnn O’Connell to inquire about the status of the letter. [On Friday, November 30, Halvorson, Pabst, and Sweet met with LePley and O’Connell to discuss the status of the legislation, how best to move forward, and a proposed letter-writing campaign.]
The WHRC was seeking input from stakeholders regarding the Interstate Anti-doping and Drug Testing Standards Compact. Pabst reported on a meeting that the WHBPA had with WHRC Commissioner Bob Lopez and Executive Secretary Doug Moore. The biggest supporter of the compact is The Jockey Club. They oppose the use of lasix. The states that form the compact would then not be forced to follow Federal legislation, as they would be developing their own regulations. Washington’s industry would need legislative approval to join compact. Bylaws for the compact will be considered at the Global Symposium meeting in December in Tucson. Swagerty moved that the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association would support the WHRC’s endeavor to apply to the national compact. Pabst seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved. Sweet will send a letter to the WHRC informing them of the WTBOA’s support.
Annual WTBOA Membership Meeting: The 2019 meeting date was approved for the afternoon of Saturday, July 13, 2019, as follows:
- 12:30pm – Setup
- 1:00pm – Guest arrival and socializing
- 1:30pm – Food service
- 2:00-2:15 – Begin program w/intros, committee reports, etc.
- 2:30-2:45 – Begin key note speaker
- 4:00pm – Room reservation ends
Annual Awards Banquet: The date for the Awards Banquet is set for Saturday, February 23, 2019. It is an important event both as a fundraiser for the WTBOA and it has become a major social event to kick of the upcoming race meet. A full house of people is expected. All Board members are asked to help with procurements. In order for people to make smaller donations, it was suggested that we set up a bakery that people could call and order from for the dessert auction, or they could commit with us for a dessert donation, which we could then arrange.
Goals and Initiatives: It was noted that we were successful in getting one initiative through with the higher claiming price for Washington-breds. There is a need to continue trying for other initiatives, such as adding conditions. It was also noted that the goal is to promote quality, not the bottom end. After discussion, Bultena moved that we approach Emerald Downs management with the following request: that the 25 percent higher claiming price for Washington-breds be expanded from just wide-open races to include conditioned races starting at $7,500 and above and that the 25 percent higher claiming price for Washington-bred be expanded to include maiden races at the $7,000-$8,000 level and above. Luce seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously. Pabst is on the Condition Book committee and will present this request.
Next Meeting Date: The next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, December 11, 2018, at noon.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:35 p.m.
December 11, 2018, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Tuesday, January 22, 2018