NEWS AND NOTES
May 24, 2013
Of the more than 6,000 bills filed in this legislative session, several had the potential to sustain and, to varying degrees, revitalize the Texas horse industry. Most never had a committee hearing. SB 1340 (Seliger) successfully passed in the Senate, was picked up and sponsored by Rep. Tracy King in the House and made it out of committee. It was scheduled to be considered by the House on May 21st, but died along with approximately 50 other bills when time expired at midnight.
My time in the Texas Capitol this session has definitely been a learning experience. I have found many good people representing us, who have a genuine interest in the horse industry and would like to do something to help. I have been frustrated that re-election concerns often impede support; that no issue stands alone on its own merit, but is simply a small part of that much bigger moving picture; that good bills can be held hostage or never even see the light of day. Read more
SB 1340 was on the House calendar for action yesterday, but time ran out before it could be brought up last night. The bill is now dead, as per House rules:
In spite of everything, we believe that bits of progress were made in this session which we can build upon for future opportunities. Many thanks to everyone for their efforts.
1. At the tent in Rancho Brazos to hand out water
2. At Mission Granbury on Weatherford Hwy to answer phones and help with data entry
3. At Mission Granbury Storage on Hwy 377 to help sorting clothes
Please call the church office 817-579-9175 and ask for the Mission Granbury volunteer
Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Oklahoma following this horrific event. There are many horsemen who have been affected by this tragedy and have lost everything they own. Celestial Acres, which rents out stalls to multiple trainers, took a direct hit along with the highly publicized damage at the Orr Family Farms. Both horsemen’s organizations along with Remington Park in Oklahoma City are working together in coordinating relief to horsemen that have been affected by the storm.
Both offices have been encouraged by the outpouring of support and offers for help from across the country; it truly displays “horsemen helping horsemen”. Many of those horsemen have lost everything – horses, possessions, tack and equipment, and their homes. They have many needs that cannot be met by traditional social agencies.
The TRAO and the OQHRA will be jointly accepting donations for horsemen who were affected by this tragic event. All donations will be distributed directly to horsemen and their families that were affected by the storms in this area.
If you want to make a donation using a credit or debit card please call OQHRA at 405-216-0440. Checks should be made payable to either TRAO Benevolence Fund or OQHRA Benevolence Fund and put 2014 Tornado on the memo line. Your donations may be sent to:
Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma
2620 NW Expressway Suite A
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association
P. O. Box 2907
Edmond, OK 73083
We are still in the process of evaluating the need for additional help for these families and are working together with the Oklahoma racetracks to coordinate activities and support services for our racing community.
We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of those fellow horseman who have volunteered their services, supplies and acreage. At this time, we are assessing the damage and are reconciling the number of animals lost or injured. We encourage everyone not to enter this area as first responders are still actively searching for human life. We have set up a hotline for those who would like to leave their name and number so that when we know more of our needs we may be able to call upon your generous offers. That hotline is 405.283.2258. Once again, thank you for your show of generosity and know your thoughts and prayers have been heard by our family.
Anybody that would like to bring water, diapers, non-perishable food, clothes to help those in need, we are going to be gathering supplies at the racing entrance to transport today to Moore.
Our team already made one trip last night with bottled water, chips, candy, and sandwiches. Today we will be making another run. Enduring Brands – Bricktown Brewery have three Old Chicago restaurants in town making 120 pizzas to be delivered to Remington at 11:30 am.
All our employees will be ready to help. All Please help us help others!
Let’s make a difference together!
New Federal Drug Legislation Introduced
A U.S. Senator and four members of the House of Representatives have introduced the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2013 to regulate/prohibit substances, methods and treatments that may be used in racing.
The legislation, introduced by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Representatives Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), is not the same as the bill they introduced in the last Congress, according to the American Horse Council.
The bill calls for a new “independent anti-doping organization” to be responsible for “ensuring the integrity of horse races that are the subject of interstate off-track wagers and the safety of persons involved in such horse races,” according to the AHC. “The bill gives this anti-doping organization authority to permit/prohibit the drugs and medications that may be administered to a horse in a race subject to an interstate off-track wager and set the withdrawal period for its administration.” Read more
SB 1340 (Seliger) now carried by Representative Tracy King in the House, is on the calendar to be considered in the House tomorrow (May 21). Please contact your State Representative to ask for support of this bill.
SB 1340 is a simple change to the current Texas Racing Act. It allows licensed but yet un-built horse racetracks in our state to offer pre-opening simulcasting for a period of time not to exceed six years before they begin live horse racing. The current statutory limit for this pre-opening simulcasting is only two years.
This bill does NOT expand the footprint of gaming in Texas; it does NOT authorize new forms of gaming, and does NOT authorize new racetrack locations. It is simply an extension of an existing authority previously granted by the legislature.
By offering pre-opening simulcasting for a number of years, licensed but yet un-built horse racetracks can prove a consistent and reliable revenue stream to potential lenders. In today’s banking and financial environment, this proven source of consistent revenue has become a requirement to secure reasonable financing for the construction of a $10 million to $20 million horse racetrack facility.
By passage of SB 1340, the legislature will also provide for the generation of several million dollars in incremental purse money and breeders awards each year that our horse industry currently does not have, and desperately needs. It will be a very positive step to assisting our state’s horse racing and breeding industries to move toward competitiveness with our neighboring states.
This is a pro-business, economic development bill that also helps agriculture and the horse industry in Texas.
Congratulations to all the Accredited Texas-bred winners at Lone Star Park on May 16, 17, 18 and 19, and to their connections: Sassy Badger (Final Row (GB) – Auntie Adele); Xiano (Sefapiano – X Rayeyes); Big Bad Babe (My Golden Song – Wildcat’s Babe); Sinneron (Once a Sailor – Look Back); Avec Glass (Too Much Bling – Noelle); Special U F O (Special Rate – Mysterious Light); Skip a Smile (Skip Away – Strawberry Smile); Hop Sing (Dantesque (IRE) – Daring Dream); Golden Tune (My Golden Song – Final Trick); City Named Glory (City Street – No Other Name); Encoded (Oro Negra – Diazo Sport); Seeking Payday (Seeking the Dia – Royal Soup); and Legacy Flyer (Early Flyer – Flyer’s Legacy. Go ATB’s!