News and Notes for May 24, 2013

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.

I do feel that the bits and pieces of progress are enabling us to move forward.  A variety of beneficial initiatives are being pursued, stakeholders are collaborating and compromising, contacts are being made, working relationships forged and our message is being delivered. We will continue our efforts and we sincerely appreciate yours.

Memorial Day marks the 17th running of $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (G3), the second leg of the Global Gaming Triple. The first leg of the Triple, the Texas Mile, was run on April 27th and the winner, Steve Asmussen-trained Master Rick, is looking to score again.  The field of five includes Formaggio (KY), owned by H & H Ranch of Horseshoe Bay, TX and trained by Danny Pish, Isn’t He Clever (KY), owned by J. Kirk and Judy Robison of El Paso, Battle Hardened, trained by Justin Evans, and Prayer for Relief, also trained by Asmussen.  The Triple concludes with the Governor’s Cup to be run in August at Remington Park.

Monday is also “Win a Million” Day at Lone Star Park, sponsored by WinStar World Casino, when four people will get an opportunity to play for $1 Million in the “Win a Million” High Hand Poker promotion.

Customers will also enjoy the delicious food truck festival featuring the top food trucks in the Metroplex, and rock to live music by Incognito in the Courtyard of Champions from Noon until 4 p.m. Members of any branch of the military receive free general admission with a valid military I.D.  The Family Fun Park operates from noon to 4 p.m. on the Bar & Book Lawn including bounce houses, pony rides and more.  Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with first post at 1:35 p.m.

In the wake of deadly tornadoes in Texas and most recently in Oklahoma, there were tales of flattened farms, injured or dead animals, and people who lost everything – their homes, their horses, their equipment, their livelihoods.

But the tragedy also prompted an outpouring of human spirit, giving, and tireless labor. And those are the stories now filling the air.   Individuals and horsemen’s groups around the country have sent in donations to help those in need or offered their services to help care for horses and begin cleanup of the area.

Remington Park in Oklahoma is one of many equine enterprises pitching in to help horse people, their neighbors, and the horses impacted by Monday’s powerful storm, collecting supplies for families in the horse industry who’ve been displaced. The track veterinarian was dispatched to Moore, about 15 miles south of Remington, to help wherever he could.

But efforts to rescue and triage injured horses have been complicated by the lack of a disaster plan for large animals and livestock, said Debby Shauf of the OQHRA. Shauf, who lost her home and all her horses in the 1999 Moore tornado, said it was too difficult following Monday’s storm to get clearance for qualified veterinarians to reach horses in distress.

“We’re all very frustrated by the fact that there wasn’t much of a plan for how to deal with a disaster like this and there wasn’t any coordination of that, and if I don’t do anything else, out of this is going to come a plan in Oklahoma.”

Several good articles on preparedness and safety are now available.  One may be accessed here:  With hurricane season starting soon, this article may also be helpful:

According to a recent Blood-Horse article, the Illinois Racing Board recently a step toward cutting back the state’s racing schedule in light of a looming funding shortage and legislative inaction on corrective measures, beginning with harness racing schedules.

The Illinois General Assembly has not approved legislation that would renew authority for Advance Deposit Wagering. The old authorization expired Jan. 1 and ADW taxes are a primary source of funding for the IRB.  With a May 31 adjournment deadline the legislature also has not taken definitive action on a wider expansion of Illinois gaming—a proposal that includes authorization of slot machines at race tracks.

The Thoroughbred Owners of California recently announced it will implement the Mid Atlantic Uniform Medication Program, effective Jan. 1, 2014. The TOC joins eight other states in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast: Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The program includes a two-category drug classification system–controlled therapeutic medications and prohibited substances. Lasix will be the sole medication permitted on race day. All accredited by the RMTC Code of Standards for Drug Testing, the testing laboratories for each of the participating states will employ the same technology and detection levels.

NOTES… The Lone Star Park Chaplaincy Benefit Golf Tournament is slated for Tuesday, May 28 at Mansfield National Golf Club; contact Chaplain Sam Spence at 972.237.4818 or 817.909.2850 for details…May 31 is the deadline to accredit foals of 2012 at the member rate of $75… The next TRC Meeting is set for June 11… The next meeting of the TTA Board of Directors is scheduled for June 15 at Lone Star Park… Lone Star Park will remain open as a training center following the conclusion of the current meet, with an official start date of July 14…The TTA office will be closed on Monday for Memorial Day.