Richard Shapiro, former chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, has been hired as a consultant by the newly-formed California Horse Racing Alliance. Craig Fravel, the alliance’s president and the executive vice-president of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, confirmed the hiring of Shapiro shortly after the group’s formation in recent weeks.
The alliance represents California’s racetracks and horsemen’s groups, including the Thoroughbred Owners of California, California Thoroughbred Trainers, and California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, said Fravel. TOC chair Marsha Naify serves as the CHRA’s vice president.
“We are trying to coordinate our efforts in the challenges facing our industry,” said Fravel. “We want to keep the whole industry on one page in our efforts to improve the economics of the game.”
Fravel likened the CHRA to the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), which has promoted the horse industry in that state.
“We are trying to present a unified position,” Fravel said.
California has long had the Federation of California Racing Associations, but Fravel said the federation does not include horsemen’s organizations.
The CHRA has not yet formulated a specific set of goals. However, one that the group is expected to address is the future of the state’s racing calendar following the anticipated closure of Hollywood Park. Plans have been announced to ultimately develop the property, which are posted on a Web site. However, officials there have not set a precise timeline.