Marble Cliff

Marble Cliff

John Englehardt

Licenses, Penalties Sought for Breeders

Ohio has proposed serious penalties for breeders and owners who violate rules.

Ohio Thoroughbred breeders would be licensed by the state for a fee each year and face serious penalties—including a suspension of up to 10 years--should they violate rules governing registration of state-bred horses under regulations proposed by the Ohio State Racing Commission.

The new rules stemmed from an investigation this year that revealed several horses registered in Ohio actually were foaled in neighboring Kentucky. The breeders told the OSRC “mistakes” were made that led to the false registrations.

One of the affected horses—Foxwood Stable’s Marble Cliff—won two stakes, including the $100,000 Cleveland Gold Cup at Thistledown. The 3-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Jump Start  was disqualified from purse earnings in all five of his starts in Ohio and returned to the races Dec. 12 to finish second in a maiden special weight event at Turfway Park in Kentucky.

Breeders would pay $10 a year for a license. They may be required to submit an additional amount to cover the cost of fingerprinting. In order for a breeder to receive purse awards, he or she must be licensed under the proposed rules.

Owners of broodmares that want to breed or board mares in Ohio to qualify for breeders’ awards would have to register the mare with the OSRC.

The proposed rules also give the OSRC more power in regulating the state’s Thoroughbred breeding industry. The commission would only need “reason to believe” an application is fraudulent or misleading to summon those involved, and could, after a hearing, “suspend, cancel and/or bar from further registrations horses owned by the person who executed the false or misleading application.”

Those found in violation would face a fine of up to $10,000 and a suspension of up to 10 years. In addition, breeders’ awards could be denied in the future, and purse money would have to be returned.

Soon after the investigation into the registration of Marble Cliff and other horses, OSRC chairman Willie Koester formed a committee to study the issue and make recommendations. The proposed rules, which were subject to a public hearing Dec. 19, were the result of input from the racing commission, breeders, and owners in Ohio.