California's NTRA Contribution Extended By Legislation

California Governor Gray Davis has signed legislation that will extend the state horsemen's annual contribution of about $1.8 million to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association through Jan. 1, 2008.

The governor approved the bill, AB 2502, sponsored by Assemblyman Mark Wyland, on June 30.

It extends by four years the agreement that specified that the horsemen's representative, the Thoroughbred Owners of California, would receive an annual contribution of 1.75 percent from all racing associations in the state for NTRA programs.

The bill requires that the TOC review its agreement with the NTRA each year, accounting for receipt and expenditure of the funds.

The TOC has long supported the NTRA, and has a spot on the national organization's board of directors, currently filled by TOC president John Van de Kamp.

At a meeting of the California Horse Racing Board in June, chairman Alan Landsburg questioned whether the state is getting its money's worth from its NTRA support. Between the TOC and the racetracks, the NTRA receives about $3.6 million annually from California membership dues. California accounted for about 19 percent of the $18.4 million the NTRA derived from its membership in 2002.