The Texas Thoroughbred Association would like to thank Chairman John Otto and the other House members who serve on the Legislative Budget Board for working to secure full funding for the Texas Racing Commission.
While we are thankful that the Commission and Texas racetracks are again open for business, the announcement of a three month funding plan still merits our concern.
The horse racing and breeding industry needs to be able to see far enough into the future to make plans based on realistic expectations.
A short-term funding agreement does not provide much of a comfort level for horsemen. Does it inspire enough confidence in the future of the industry to remain in Texas?
Uncertainty has a wide touch. Breeders are now faced with making decisions on where their mares will foal next spring, considering how the Texas-bred program compares with other options.
They also must make plans for which stallions they wish to breed their mares, or even whether to breed them at all.
Owners and trainers must make plans for where their horses will go to race. Will there be enough racing in Texas to meet their needs, or will they be forced to go out of state?
Racetrack workers must be wondering if they need to be making contingency plans.
Suppliers and equipment dealers must consider inventory issues.
Landowners may consider selling, especially if that land produced their livelihood.
The list goes on.
In the meantime, your industry organizations are continuing to meet and discuss a course of action for this uncertain period. We will keep you informed, and let you know how you can help.
For now, please express your thanks to those who have recently stepped up to support the horse industry in Texas:
Representative John Otto
Representative Drew Darby
Representative Sylvester Turner
Representative John Zerwas
Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller
Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar