With major contracts for television, sponsorship, and membership up for renewal this year, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association believes 2004 is the year that could spark major growth in horse racing for the long term, commissioner Tim Smith said.
The issue of how jockeys are paid surfaced during the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association winter convention in New Orleans, and apparently it has created some conflict in some racing jurisdictions around the country.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association will soon announce that a high-profile sponsor will kick in funds to supplement purses on state-bred championship days, officials said Feb. 2.
Magna Entertainment Corp.'s top executive admitted the company has taken plenty of heat for recent business decisions tied to account wagering and rebate shops, but he indicated the racing conglomerate wouldn't apologize for a strategy he said is designed to benefit the industry in the long term.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's Executive Committee will decide Feb. 3 whether to move forward with a plan to create an offshore wagering hub that would accept wagers from bettors outside the United States in an attempt to increase handle and generate revenue for purses.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has refused to permit signals from Ohio racetracks to go to Indian casinos in Oklahoma, a move one Ohio racetrack official has questioned.
As organizers of the Claiming Crown gear up for the sixth edition of the event in 2004, the focus will be on obtaining sponsorships and getting the races into more wagering outlets around the country. Meanwhile, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association has signed on as a sponsor of the event.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association continues to study the problems of offshore wagering and signal piracy and leakage, and hopes to have a plan in place by the time it meets for its winter convention in late January.
Racing Services Inc., North Dakota-based wagering company, has filed a complaint against Stevenson & Associates for alleged restraint of trade and monopolization in connection with off-track betting parlors in Mexico and Venezuela.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, in an effort to thwart what it believes is a growing problem with the piracy of signals and subsequent loss of revenue, plans to discuss the possibility of operating its own offshore wagering hub.
John Roark, president of the Texas Horsemen's Partnership and a board member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, fought back a challenge to win a second two-year term as president of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
Horsemen's representatives who have been working on national insurance issues for the horse racing industry said purchasing an insurance company doesn't appear feasible, but forming a captive might be a viable option.
With a goal to raise $2 million to $3 million a year to support its initiatives, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is looking at a mechanism that would raise money from horsemen and racetracks based on the top four finishers in each race.
Participants in a July 10 medication workshop reached the consensus that "over-medication" may contribute to fewer starts by racehorses, but other factors -- racetrack surfaces, an emphasis on speed, too much pressure on 2-year-olds, and a thirst for quick profit -- probably are just as responsible.
With its election of officers looming July 13, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has races for both president and vice president. In addition, the question of whether the position of chairman of the board would continue to have voting rights figures to come up for discussion.
The board of directors of the Association of Racing Commissioners International will consider adoption of a policy that would make treatments such as hypoxic therapy prohibited practices until their impact on horses is scientifically demonstrated.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association Executive Committee, during a meeting April 3-4 in Lexington, approved a motion that encourages two regulators' associations to work toward unification.
Two bills introduced in the Kentucky legislature would permit officials to spend money on drug research pertinent to the horse racing and breeding industries out of state if they so desire. Current statute mandates the money stay at Kentucky research facilities.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, in a white paper on simulcasting, has called for tighter security in the export of signals as well as a review of domestic and international wagering hubs.
A representative of the Alabama Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said that, despite concerns from a few National HBPA affiliates, the organization is working to improve the outlook for Thoroughbred racing in the state.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is scheduled to meet Feb. 4 in Atlanta, Ga., to hammer out details of its structure and further develop its policy statement.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, in an attempt to solidify revenue derived from pari-mutuel wagering, will soon release a comprehensive position paper that touches on everything from source-market fees to rebates.
For the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the racing industry, the phrase "strength in numbers" can apply to sponsors, the wagering public, legislative clout, and even movie theaters.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is trying to track where signals go and whether horsemen are getting the revenue to which they're entitled. Comments made during a Jan. 28 workshop indicated that process has a long way to go.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has called for changes in a formula it said cost Thoroughbred horsemen more than $13 million in 2001 alone. It planned to present a position paper to the National HBPA Jan. 29 during its winter convention.
Behind-the-scenes efforts to return Thoroughbred racing to Alabama met with a hint of allegations Jan. 28 that the Alabama Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association may not have racing's best interests at heart.
A campaign to bring about changes in equine drug research in Kentucky has spilled over into the public and political arenas with a call for legislative action.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will tackle issues related to simulcasting as part of its winter convention Jan. 26-29 in Phoenix, Ariz.
The Racehorse Medication and Testing Consortium formed earlier this year has incorporated as a charitable organization and issued its goals and objectives, one of which has been broadened to include the auction and training aspects of the Thoroughbred business.
The idea of an industry-owned insurance company was floated during a major meeting on issues such as workers' compensation. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Jockeys' Guild called on the industry for financial support to alleviate a "crisis."
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is prepared to release a revised proposal for a national policy on drug testing and therapeutic medication. The document deals with Class 1, 2, 3, and 4 medications, as well as prohibited practices.
The Claiming Crown, inaugurated in 1999, is on its way back to Canterbury Park in Minnesota for 2003, but the date has been moved up from previous editions of the event.
Industry representatives will gather Dec. 10 in Tucson, Ariz., to discuss a plan for a broad national health insurance program.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has hired a consultant to help it better understand on-shore and off-shore simulcasting markets.
With 71 horses pre-entered, the Claiming Crown is taking shape for its fourth edition, set for Aug. 31 at Philadelphia Park. Purses for the six events will total $550,000.
A National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association task force has found no evidence of criminal liability on the part of former officers and the executive director of an affiliate in connection with Century Consultants, a company formed to help Indian casinos land simulcast signals.
Cutbacks in benevolence and backstretch programs, as well as termination of an investigation into alleged financial misdeeds, have been cited as the reason why some members of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have called for a new election of the president and board of directors.
Dr. Alex Harthill made good on a threat to resign as president of the Kentucky Horsemens' Benevolent and Protective Association on Wednesday.
His resignation is effective immediately.
The board of directors of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has voted to terminate its investigation of monetary transactions between Century Consultants, an organization with close ties to the Kentucky HBPA and Choctaw Racing Services.
The U. S. House Judiciary Committee continued to discuss the "Combating Illegal Gambling Reform and Modernization Act" the week of June 10, but it should be status quo until June 20, when the measure is on the calendar again.
Kent Stirling, executive director of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and Dr. Rick Arthur, a vice president of Oak Tree Racing Association, have been named to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Racing Integrity and Drug Testing Task Force.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said May 24 that, though it is "in complete support" of protection of live racing, a proposed amendment to the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 raises "some serious questions."
The board of directors of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association on May 13 reinstated executive director Marty Maline, who had been on a paid leave of absence in connection with an internal investigation into the organization's finances.
As the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium continues its march toward uniformity in Thoroughbred racing, battle lines are being formed by other groups that believe a furosemide-only policy on race days is too extreme.
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which has more than 6,000 members, has initiated an investigation that could be connected to a probe under way at the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has appointed a task force that will, among other things, investigate what it believes might be potential conflicts of interest by prior officers and representatives from 1999 to 2001.
In a statement released March 20 in response to an ongoing situation involving Tampa Bay Downs, National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association president John Roark said the relationship between horsemen and racetrack management must be based on "fairness, mutual respect, and a desire to work toward common goals."
In a deal that has put some horsemen's associations on edge, the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has agreed to reinstate signals from Kentucky racetracks to Tampa Bay Downs in exchange for dismissing its complaint for declaratory judgment against the Florida track.
The Arkansas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has officially withdrawn from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. The horsemen's group intends to stay out of the NTRA as long as Oaklawn Park, the state's only Thoroughbred racetrack, is not a member.
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