September 6, 2019
Board Members Present: Pam Christopherson (phone), Jim Engstrom, Mary Lou Griffin, Nina Hagen, Dana Halvorson, Dr. Duane Hopp, David Israel, Petra Lewin, Greg Luce, Debra Pabst, and Jennifer Webber (phone). Absent: Melodie Bultena. Staff present: M. Anne Sweet.
The meeting was called to order at 12:50 p.m. at the WTBOA offices by President Halvorson.
Previous Board Minutes: Minutes from the June 27, 2019, meeting were presented and reviewed. Engstrom moved to approve the minutes as presented. Israel seconded the motion. The minutes were approved as presented.
Finance Committee Report: Treasurer Pabst reported on the following bullet items:
- The sale was better than anticipated. A preliminary P & L (profit and loss) was included in the packet.
- All four Northwest Race Series (NWRS) stakes races for the 2019 series have now taken place. As is typical, some non-eligible horses (and/or their sires) won or placed, resulting in some award money not being paid out. After the $50,000 in NWRS funds being added to the Gottstein Futurity are paid out (to the top five NWRS-eligible horses no matter where they place), the estimated carry forward amount for 2020 will be a little over $6,600.
- The Sales Incentive Program (SIP) balance is currently around $13,000 and the Washington Homebred Incentive Program (WaHIP) balance is currently around $6,000. Disbursements appear to be about on par with previous years.
- The Fall issue of the magazine will be digital-only for the first time. Postcards will be mailed to members and subscribers explaining the change. For those advertising in both the Fall and Winter/Stallion Register issues, advertisers will receive a 20 percent discount for the Fall (digital) issue and a 10 percent discount for the Winter/Stallion Register issue. The Winter discount excludes the stallion statistical pages. However, all stallion managers/owners who donate a season to the Stallion Season Auction will receive a 10 percent discount on their stallions statistical pages.
- “Old Friends” style calendar spots (wherein people, horses, birthdays, congratulations, memorials can be recognized or celebrated) will be offered in the 2020 WTBOA calendar at $50/per spot.
- Initial 2020 budget information to come at the next Board meeting.
Northwest Race Series (NWRS): See above.
Stallion Season Auction: Sweet provided a packet of information that included a list of stallion seasons sold last year, the Stallion Season Auction terms and conditions as they appear on Thoroughlybred.com, a copy of last year’s letter to stallion owners/managers and the stallion season donation form. The packet also included a copy of the information that Iowa sends out for their Stallion Season Auction program.
Pabst noted the need for people to make calls regarding stallion season donations. She also urged Board members to contact those farms that they have connections to or have established relationships. It was also noted that eventually there will be an annual cost of $1,000 to The Jockey Club for obtaining a list of all progeny resulting from stallions whose seasons sold, as well as their breeders’ contact information, plus an estimated $1,000 or so in postage to mail notifications to those people.
WTBOA members Henry Leong and Claudia Canouse were key people in making calls and soliciting stallion seasons last year. Leong is willing to help again but has strongly suggested that it will be easier to request donations if there are incentives to offer the stallion owners. There was discussion about whether someone would be hired to make phone calls. Sweet asked if the incentives and whether to hire someone (and for how much) were Finance Committee and/or Board decisions? After discussion, it was decided to reassess these topics after the Stallion Season Auction was discussed at the upcoming Sales Committee meeting.
Sales Committee Report: Chairman Webber reported that the sale went well. She complimented new Barn Manager Les Shannon on a great job, as well as the office and barn staff also. She will have more to report after the Sales Committee meeting on September 9.
Publications Report: See notes under the Finance Committee Report. It was suggested that sale consignors should be offered/encouraged to take out Thank You ads in the magazine. Webber suggested a “co-op” ad that smaller consignors or a group of consignors could participate in for a lower cost, as has been done in the past. It was also discussed that members and subscribers will need to be notified about the change from printing all four quarterly issues of the magazine to just printing the magazine twice per year for the Summer issue and the Winter/Stallion Register issue, with the Spring and Fall issues being available online only. A postcard will be mailed with this information.
Washington Horse Racing Commission (WHRC)/Emerald Downs Report: Sweet reported on the July 26, 2019, WHRC meeting. Commissioner Bob Lopez had attended the ARCI (Association of Racing Commissioners International) meeting. Among the things he reported on were the creation of a five to eight minute anti-doping video for broadcast on public television. Related to the Senate side of the Federal anti-doping bill, he noted that there had been a request for an alternate bill the would take out USADA as the regulating body and replace it with the ARCI. Engstrom commented on various reasons for leaving USADA as the regulatory body.
Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler reported that the horse population at Emerald has been consistently down by about 80 horses this year, but noted that there had been good field sized for the stakes races. The live handle to date was up about five percent, but the margins were low, possibly due to patrons betting online rather than at the track. The handle is down about eight percent from last year. He noted that overall the handle was down five to eight percent across the country. The weather had been not bad this year, though it was exceptional last year. They were looking forward to Corgie Day and Longacres Mile Day, the latter of which had been rebranded as Championship Sunday with four stakes races. They may look at cutting Friday racing after Labor Day, depending on the horse population.
WHBPA Executive Director MaryAnn O’Connell reported that she and WHBPA President Pat LePley had attended the National HBPA meeting by phone. She noted that only two Senators have signed on to the Senate side of the national anti-doping bill. The National HBPA is preparing a statement about the Santa Anita situation. It was noted that Emerald Downs had established a Safety Committee, which was meeting regularly. Ziegler noted that the meetings had been productive and that they have safety initiatives and protocols in place.
Complete WHRC meeting minutes are available at: http://www.whrc.wa.gov/uploads/1/1/2/0/112048803/july2019.pdf.
It was asked if a list of the races that filled at Emerald Downs by category was available. This information should be available from the WHBPA or the Race Office. Sweet will inquire.
Board Nominations for 2020-22 Term: The following incumbents have agreed to run again: Christopherson, Engstrom, Hopp, and Luce. Additional nominees thus far have declined to run.
Promotional Video: Lewin reported that she had spoken with Emerald Downs Directors of Broadcasting and Media, Joe Withee and Vince Bruun, respectively. They were very busy at that time with their duties for the live race meet, but they were enthusiastic about the video project and were very willing to help work on the video after the meet ends. They expressed that the Emerald media and television departments would be able to assist. It was noted that Emerald Downs video person Cy Labar could help with footage and with creating the video. Labar may also have a drone available. Lewin will contact them again after the meet.
Lewin has created an outline based on the video that the Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders created. That video was about 30 seconds in length. It was noted that the Washington video perhaps could be a little longer. The idea would be to promote the entire industry. It was noted that for Legislative purposes, it would be good to include backstretch workers, Eastern Washington hay producers, etc. [WHRC Executive Secretary Doug Moore later suggested that the video should not be longer than one to one-and-a-half minutes at most, especially if used for legislative purposes.]
Goals and Initiatives/Condition Book: Sweet reported the O’Connell had suggested a date of late October for a joint WTBOA/WHBPA meeting. After discussion, it was decided to set the date for Friday, October 25, at 1:00 p.m., with a light lunch. The WTBOA, in a joint effort with the WHBPA, would like to add one additional Washington-bred condition to some races. Examples from around the rest of the country have been gathered and can be presented. This extra condition would incur no additional cost for the racetrack. [It was later learned that both O’Connell and LePley would not be available on October 25, as they will be traveling on that day as they return from the National HBPA meeting. O’Connell has now suggested a date in late November or early December.]
Next Meeting Date: The next meeting was scheduled for Friday, October 18, 2019.
It was moved by Engstrom and seconded by Hopp to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried and the meeting was adjourned at 2:55 p.m.
October 18, 2019, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Friday, December 6, 2019