Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Thursday, January 10, 2019
Cornerstone Event Center, Grove City, OH
President Joe Poole Directors: Susan Anderson, Bobby Cline, Doug Cowans, Jeff Jarvis, Mark Kuntz, Dick McCall, Robin Schuster, Mike Rone, John Royer, Kristi Tumblin and Kim Williams
Executive Director Dave Basler, Lobbyist Tom Pappas, OTBO executive director John Engelhard, OTBO President Tom McCann, New Vocations Program Director Anna Ford
Call to Order/ Approval of Minutes:
President Poole called the meeting to order. After review Director Jarvis moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the November 15, 2018 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting. Motion passed.
Special Order of Business:
OHPBA lobbyist Tom Pappas updated the board on the recent result of the Ohio House of Representatives controversial vote for a new speaker which concluded with Larry Householder winning the vote.
Brief discussion was held on potential sports betting legislation in the state.
Executive Director’s Report:
Discussion was held regarding negotiations with Belterra Park management on revising the track contract which included a handout from the executive director detailing the track’s position on training and stabling schedules in the new contract. Discussion was held regarding potential alternatives to the proposed Belterra language.
Director Jarvis moved and Director Rone seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA maintain its current position in regards to training and stabling at Belterra Park in the current contract negotiations which the executive director had previously communicated to Belterra Park management both verbally and via email. Motion passed.
The executive director updated the board on the Racing Symposium and ARCI meetings he attended in December in Arizona. Basler provided figures and estimates on sports betting from the states which have already adopted sports betting legislation which were presented at the conference. Basler also informed the board about a push from certain industry groups at both the ARCI and Racing Symposium to switch from the current dime breakage to penny breakage and detailed what impacts that change would have if adopted in Ohio. Basler also informed the board that the ARCI had increased the screening limit for testosterone in geldings and fillies and mares to be in line with the international racing community and stated that this should prevent any natural outliers in those categories from triggering a positive test. It was also discussed that the ARCI had adopted a screening limit for morphine. Detailing that the National HBPA’s long time push to develop screening limits for substances which can enter a horse via environmental contamination was starting to pay dividends.
Basler updated the board that the Thoroughbred Advisory Board at its December meeting had passed a recommendation to the OSRC that the 2019 Ohio Thoroughbred Fund Program supplements be at the same levels as the 2018 OTF program was based upon the Ohio HBPA’s commitment to cover any budget shortfalls in the program in 2019. Basler stated that the OSRC would pass the recommendations of the Thoroughbred Advisory Board at its next monthly meeting on January 29.
Purses and Wagering
Basler updated the board on the current status of the purse accounts at Mahoning Valley and Thistledown and discussion was held regarding the numbers.
Basler went through handouts provided to the board showing VLT revenues for the state’s seven commercial racetracks detailing that Thistledown net win in December 2018 was up over 12% from the previous December with the 2018 net win figure coming in at $10,883,562 marking the tenth straight month that the track had exceeded $10,000,000 in VLT net win. Mahoning Valley had a VLT net win of $10,065,474 for December 2018 up nearly 8% from the previous December. The $105,319,627 in total VLT play at Mahoning Valley was the second highest month ever recorded at the track which started VLT operations in September 2014. Belterra Park had a VLT net win of $6,989,672 in December 2018 down slightly from the previous year’s net win figure of $7,174,464.
Benevolence, Policies and Organization
The executive director sought clarification from the board on whether the board alternates should be included in communications from him such as the weekly report.
Following discussion Director Schuster moved and President Poole seconded a motion that the OHBPA board alternates should be included in the emailing of the executive director’s weekly reports and other non-confidential communications. Motion passed. Director Jarvis opposed.
Government and External Affairs
The OTBO’s John Engelhard and Tom McCann made a presentation to the board giving details of the organization’s 2019 budget and plans for the upcoming year and seeking the financial support of the Ohio HBPA.
Budget and Finance
New Vocations Program Director Anna Ford gave a presentation on the thoroughbred horses her program took in from Ohio trainers and owners in 2018 which included handouts detailing the horses names, who trained or donated them and how long they were in the program before being adopted. Another handout detailed the expenses the program incurred in housing, feeding, caring for and retraining those horses before they were adopted out.
Director Jarvis moved and Director Rone seconded a motion the Ohio HBPA make a $40,000 contribution from the Industry Initiative Fund to the National HBPA to cover 2019 affiliate dues, Horsemen’s Journal mailing costs to members, National HBPA winter convention registrations and National HBPA winter convention sponsorship. Motion passed.
Director Jarvis moved and Director Rone seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA make a $15,000 contribution from the Industry Initiative Fund to the Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky to support the work of Dr. Tom Tobin. Motion passed.
Director Jarvis moved and Director Rone seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA make a $10,000 contribution from the Industry Initiative Fund to the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance, a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt research organization which is conducting ongoing research in the field of equine medication thresholds and screening limits. Motion passed.
Director Williams moved and Director Cline seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA make a $55,000 contribution from the Industry Initiative Fund to the Ohio HBPA scholarship fund to continue the scholarships programs established with the Ohio 4H and Ohio FFA several years ago. Motion passed.
President Poole moved and Director Anderson seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA make a $20,000 contribution from the Industry Initiative Fund to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Motion passed. Director Jarvis opposed.
President Poole moved and Director Cline seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA make a $50,000 contribution from the Industry Initiative Fund to New Vocations. Motion passed. Director Schuster opposed.
Director Tumblin moved and Director McCall seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA make a $25,000 contribution from the Industry Initiative Fund to the Van Wert Agricultural Society to support thoroughbred purses at the 2019 Van Wert County Fair. Motion passed.
Director Jarvis moved and Director Rone seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA make a $12,000 contribution to the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America to support the salary of Chaplain Smith at Thistledown from late April 2019 through late October 2019. Motion passed.
Director Cline moved and President Poole seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA make a $25,000 contribution from the Industry Initiative Fund to the OTBO to help fund their operations and the board will reconsider a request for further funding at a future meeting. Motion passed. Director Jarvis opposed.
Director Rone moved and President Poole seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA make a $35,000 contribution from the Industry Initiative Fund to the Belterra Park purse account to support purses for quarter horse races run at Belterra in 2019 provided that those races are only conducted after the conclusion of all thoroughbred races on the card. Motion passed.
Discussion was held on a personal benevolence request but no motions were made based on no receipts being provided by the applicant.
Discussion was held regarding the moving of the Ohio HBPA main office and two locations which had been looked at by the executive director and various members of the board one which was for lease and one which was for sale. No motions were made on this issue.
Discussion was held regarding replacing the medical trailer at Belterra Park which suffered extensive damage during the flooding at the track last spring. No motions were made on this issue.
President Poole moved and Director Rone seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.