September 30, 2016
Board members present: Mary Lou Griffin, Nina Hagen, Dana Halvorson, Dr. Duane Hopp, Debra Pabst, John Parker, Keith Swagerty, Jennifer Webber and Steve Zerda. Absent: William P. Brewer, Tim Floyd and Candice Tollett. Staff present: M. Anne Sweet.
The meeting was called to order at 12:25 p.m. at the WTBOA offices by President Halvorson.
Previous Board Minutes: Minutes from the July 13, 2016, meetings were presented and reviewed. Webber moved to approve the minutes as presented. Hopp seconded the motion and the minutes were approved.
Administrative Assistant Position: As of this date, Halvorson and Sweet have interviewed three applicants to fill the position that Julia Wolters will be leaving. All three were good candidates, but all of them ultimately declined the position. Emerald Downs allowed us to post the job description on their Careers page online. To date, 10 applications have been received via that listing, although several of them have been making quite a bit more than we are offering for this position. It is an entry level position, starting at $36,000 and then increasing to $40,000 after a two to three month trial period. Initially, that information was not included on the Emerald listing, but it has been added now. Griffin volunteered to post fliers about the position at the Thoroughbred Show at Donida Farms Equestrian Center the next weekend. Other suggested places to advertise were Craigslist, Northwest Horse Source and the Courier Herald, as well as sending the job description to Washington State University and the University of Arizona.
Finance Committee Report: Treasurer Pabst reported that the association’s financial reports are about as expected. Income is more than both the budget and compared to the same time last year. Expenses are on track. The process of moving WTBOA banking and savings accounts from US Bank to Bank of America is in progress. All but about four or five sales horses are paid for, but there are no red flags at this time.
Northwest Race Series (NWRS): Chairman Pabst reported that there will be a rollover of about $21,000 to carry forward from this year to 2017. This was mostly due to the fact that while all of the colts were Northwest-sired, none of the fillies were, so there was $20,000 from the Northwest Race Series Nominated Sire Awards that was not paid out for 2016 and thus will carry forward. In addition to the funds that were paid out for the two NWRS stakes for colts, $10,000 was paid out to the top three NWRS-nominated horses (no matter where they placed) in the Gottstein Futurity. These funds went to the first through third place finishers. Emerald Downs had made the decision that the Futurity would no longer be part of the NWRS. Of the $130,000 in NWRS funds that were allocated for 2016, $20,000 went to each of the Emerald Express, Angie C., WTBOA Lads and Barbara Shinpoch stakes, with an additional $50,000 allocated to the NWRS Nominated Sire Awards.
Washington Cup: Emerald Downs management was pleased with this year’s Washington Cup, which had both good field sizes and a good handle. This year the WTBOA did not pay for the Washington Cup saddle towels as we had last year when the saddle towels were personalized with the horses’ names. However, the WTBOA had made an agreement with Emerald Downs that we would pay for postage and shipping to send them to WA Cup participants. Sweet had been told that the saddle towels would not be personalized this year due to the sponsorship logos that would be included on them, which then didn’t allow enough room for the names to appear. It was suggested that Sweet contact Vern or Jan Baze to inquire about the cost of adding the names now that space would no longer be a consideration since the races were over. It was decided that if it didn’t cost more than $500 to go a head and have that done. [Sweet did contact Baze. The cost was $10 per saddle towel to add the names on both sides. There were 46 towels, so the cost was $460.]
Sales Committee Report: Chairman Griffin reported that the sale did well. The gross was $1.4-million, up 1.2 percent from last year. The average was $17,040, down 8 percent, but the median was up significantly. The median rose by 50 percent from $10,000 to $15,000. There are no concerns regarding the horses that still need to be paid for. The date worked well and it is anticipated that we will use the same timeframe again next year. There was one horse that was returned to the consignor after the sale, but it was the consignor’s choice to take the horse back. The sales company did not require it. The weather was good for the sale and there was good representation from Washington and Pacific Northwest buyers, but some California buyers did not come up this year.
Publications Report: Sweet reported that the Fall issue of the magazine is in progress at this time. It is scheduled to include a recap of the sale, an Ask the Experts column about purchasing broodmares, Northwest Stallion Spotlights on Linchpin and Sixthirteen, a profile on Debbie and Rick Pabst, coverage of Stakes Winners in their new format, as well as other seasonal reports and statistics. Griffin suggested a profile on new owners at the sale, in particular Lynn Hallowell, daughter of Dr. A. L. Hallowell. Griffin volunteered to do an interview with Lynn for the Fall issue of the magazine. It was noted that there will be a profile on Ed and Jean Welch in the Winter issue of the magazine. That will also be the Stallion Register edition, which the staff will soon begin work on, as well as they will be working on the calendar for 2017. It was suggested that the staff contact both Brook Ledge Horse Transportation and Bob Hubbard Horse Transportation regarding advertising, as both have become more active in the area recently.
Washington Horse Racing Commission (WHRC)/Emerald Downs: The September WHRC meeting had been held prior to the end of the Emerald Downs meet, so the meet-end reports and statistics will be reported at the October 7, 2016, WHRC meeting. WHRC Executive Secretary Doug Moore had reported to Sweet that the mutuel handle was down 3.24 percent from the previous year, so therefore the track dues that we receive would also be down about that much. However, it was noted that the Emerald Downs season wrap-up press release had stated that the handle was up 16 percent. Sweet was asked to contact Moore regarding the discrepancy. [Sweet contacted Moore, who stated that the figures Emerald Downs had reported were based on their live meet, plus selling their signal out of state, which had experienced a significant increase and accounted for the dramatic increase in the handle that they reported. The handle that the WHRC tracks is based on the in-state-only live and simulcasting handle, which was down as noted. The latter figure is what is used to factor breeders’ and owners’ bonuses, as well as track dues.]
Board Nominations: Incumbent Duane Hopp has accepted to run again, as well as the following nominees who have accepted: Jim Engstrom, Henry Leong, Greg Luce and Roy Schaefer. Sales Committee nominees are incumbents Nina Hagen and Bryson Cooper, as well as Marilyn Wulff. [Leong later declined due to health issues, but stated that he might be interested in the future. Schaefer also later declined due to other projects that he is involved with.]
Annual Awards Banquet: The awards banquet is scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2017. Parker stated that he would donate two big ticket items to the auction. The success of the live auction desserts at the Diego Sanchez fundraiser was noted and it was suggested that perhaps we could look into doing something similar. It was also suggested that perhaps the number of auction items could be cut back and that we should review which items brought in the most money to focus on those. A committee chairman is needed. Halvorson asked that Board members consider participating and that a volunteer committee would be put together and would meet in the near future.
Next Meeting Date: The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, November 2, 2016.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
November 2, 2016, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Thursday, December 15, 2016