September 8, 2020
WTBOA Board Members Present: Melodie Bultena, Pam Christopherson, Jim Engstrom, Mary Lou Griffin, Nina Hagen, Dana Halvorson, Petra Lewin, Debra Pabst, Jennifer Webber.
WTBOA Board Members Absent: Dr. Duane Hopp, David Israel, Greg Luce.
WTBOA Staff Members Present: M. Anne Sweet.
The meeting was called to order at 12:21 p.m. at the WTBOA offices by President Halvorson.
Previous Board Minutes: Minutes from the July 21, 2020, meeting were presented and reviewed. Webber moved to approve the minutes as presented. Bultena seconded the motion. The minutes were approved.
Finance: While the reports are still preliminary with up to $10,000 in expenses still to be paid out, it was felt that the sale went much better than expected and the organization in still in a good spot financially.
Northwest Race Series (NWRS): There were three late nominations and two extra late nominations to this years’ NWRS. There will be a carryover of $15,000 for next year as opposed to this year in which there was a $6,000 carryover.
Sales: Despite the numerous challenges presented by COVID-19, the sale went off and can be considered a success. Webber will have much more to report after the sales committee meeting scheduled for September 29. At present, the financials are better than expected. The one issue that arose stemmed from the septic system backing up in the middle of the sale. It was found by RotoRooter the next day to be only a clog and was an easy fix. Emerald Downs security was a huge help in making it possible to continue the sale despite having to shut off the water to the building.
Publications: Not much to report. Sweet is working on the fall issue which will be online only. It was decided to put the pictures and some of the sale recap in the winter issue and a general sale recap in the fall issue.
WHRC/Emerald Downs update: Next meeting is Friday, September 11.
The 2020 Emerald Downs meet has been extended through October 29.
The WTBOA is very appreciative of the support from the Racing Commission and all of the assistance they gave in making the sale possible.
Industry Promotional Video: Sweet reached out to Ziegler and progress is being made on the video. It is close to completion pending final approval from Emerald Downs. It is hopeful that it will be finalized in time for our annual meeting.
Annual Membership Meeting: The annual membership meeting, which is required to be held each year per WTBOA bylaws, will be held virtually via Zoom this year. It has been scheduled for October 20 at 7:00 p.m. Reminders will be sent out via email to the membership and on social media. Pabst recommended that the Ralph Vacca scholarship fund be discussed at the annual meeting.
Goals and Initiatives: Nothing to report.
Stallion Season Auction: Henry Leong recommended that the stallion season auction awards be increased to $5,000. Last year the awards were worth up to $2,500 to the high sellers (tier 1) and up to $1,000 to the tier 2. After much discussion it was decided to set up a separate Zoom meeting for people interested in working on the stallion season auction to hash out details.
Awards Banquet: Tentatively scheduled for February 27 although Emerald is not booking events at this time. It is a major fundraiser for the WTBOA. Board members are going to look into online platforms and different options for holding the auction and report back at the next meeting. Another idea discussed was moving the dinner to a later date, possibly closer to opening day.
Ride for the Roses Thoroughbred Show: The Ride for the Roses show is the annual Thoroughbred only show, which is held at Donida Farm each year. The WTBOA has sponsored classes in the past. It was motioned by Pabst and seconded by Hagen to sponsor the Preakness and Belmont class champions for $200 each ($400 total).
Ralph Vacca Memorials: The board decided to purchase a plaque in the honor of former longtime general manager Ralph Vacca. It will be placed on the auction stand, which will be dedicated in his honor.
Former General Manager Ralph Vacca’s family has set up a scholarship fund in his memory. It has raised $1,250 so far. Persons interested in donating can send checks made out to the Washington Thoroughbred Foundation, 3220 Ron Crockett Dr NW, Auburn WA 98001. The foundation is a tax-deductible 501(c)(3).
Necropsy Program: At the beginning of the 2020 season the WHRC chose to put a hold on the necropsy program in which every horse that died at Emerald Downs was sent to the Washington State University (WSU) Veterinary College for a post mortem exam. Deceased horses this year have been removed by QAR at the owner’s or trainer’s expense. This was discussed in depth by the board. It is the board’s opinion that the necropsy program is very important in understanding breakdowns and preventing them in the future. After discussion, it was decided that Sweet would reach out to the WHRC, WHBPA, and Emerald Downs to determine the cost per horse, as well as a plan to reinstate the program. Sweet emailed WHRC Executive Secretary Doug Moore and learned that the program was only temporarily rescinded and is now running again at least through the end of 2020. The estimated cost per horse sent to WSU is $1,200.
History of Lawn Jockeys: Sweet mentioned that there has been some concern pertaining to the history of lawn jockeys with regards to the current political climate and referenced the statues in front of the WTBOA building. The concern is that protesters may show up at the building unannounced. It was the board’s opinion that the jockeys are a celebration of racing history and in no way intended to be racist. However, Engstrom shared that protestors may not feel the same or understand that view. There will be more discussion at the next meeting.
Next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6, at 12:15 p.m. via Zoom.
It was moved by Engstrom and seconded by Pabst to adjourn the meeting at 2:04 p.m. Motion was approved the meeting was adjourned.
October 6, 2020, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Tuesday, November 24, 2020