January 2024

Minutes
Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Friday, January 12th, 2024
Ohio HBPA Main Office, Grove City, OH

Members Present: President Joe Poole Directors: Susan Anderson, Linda Carrera, Bobby Cline, Mark Doering, Jeff Jarvis, Bruce Miller, Brian Poe, Mike Rone, George Sikora, Kristi Tumblin

Members Not Present: Directors: Nancy Adams, Susan Anderson and Mike Rone

Others Present:

Executive Director Dave Basler, OHBPA Lobbyist Tom Pappas

Call to Order/ Approval of Minutes:

President Poole called the meeting to order. After review President Poole moved and Director Poe seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the November 10th, 2023 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting. Motion passed.

President Poole moved and Director Poe seconded a motion to grant Director Adams an excused absence for this meeting due to illness. Motion passed.

Special Order of Business:

Ohio HBPA lobbyist Tom Pappas updated the board on legislative happenings at the state house including the formation of a gaming study committee which will be headed by Representative Edwards and will include horse racing. The committee has schedule hearings in February and March including one for horse racing on March 19th.

Executive Director’s Report:

The executive director provided updates on the various lawsuits still in play against HISA and informed the board that the stand-still agreement between the OHBPA and HISA preventing HISA from assessing any per start fees against owners at Ohio tracks remains in effect.

Discussion was held regarding several tracks in New Mexico which do not have current contracts with the New Mexico HBPA which has been acknowledged by 12th Circuit District Court Judge Daniel Bryant in a 2023 case as the recognized horsemen’s group under the IHA. Director Doering moved and President Poole seconded a motion that the executive director be authorized to rescind the Ohio HBPA’s consent to export the Mahoning Valley signal to those tracks which do not a valid contract with the New Mexico HBPA. Motion passed.

New Business
Purses and Wagering

The executive director updated the board regarding purse account balances detailing that Mahoning Valley had $4,069,345 available for purses as of January 1, 2024 up approximately $100,000 from the previous January which doesn’t include $648,991 in funds escrowed for HISA assessments at Mahoning Valley under the stand-still agreement.

Thistledown had $6,098,860 available for purses as of December 1, 2023 down slightly from the $6,343,320 available on December 1, 2022 but this amount was wholly attributable to over $744,000 in purse funds escrowed for HISA assessments at Thistledown under the stand-still agreement.

Basler detailed that he was working with accounting personnel at Belterra Park to correct the purse reports which currently did not show export or international fixed odds purse monies earned but that the track ended the meet ahead of where they were the previous year in the purse account due to the OHPBA lawsuit settlement. Basler said that Belterra personnel were scheduled to come to the Ohio HBPA main office the following week for a meeting on this issue.

Handouts were provided to the board showing VLT results for all three thoroughbred tracks in Ohio as well as previous VLT results for comparison purposes. Belterra Park showed a net win of $7,468,544 in December 2023 up over $1,100,000 from the $6,345,029 net win in December 2022. Thistledown had a net VLT win of $16,516,013 in December up nearly $2 million dollars from the prior December figure of $14,588,832. Mahoning Valley had a net VLT win of $13,616,988 in December 2023 up slightly from $13,155,765 the prior December.

Budget and Finance

Following discussion of the ongoing quarantine at Mahoning Valley Race Course due to Strangles Director Poe moved and Director Jarvis seconded a motion that the HBPA will cover all lab testing costs for Strangles testing involved with the quarantine. Motion passed with Director Doering abstaining.

Discussion was held regarding contributions from the Industry Initiative Fund for 2024.
Director Doering moved and Director Poe seconded a motion that a contribution of $35,000 be made from the Industry Initiative Fund to the National HBPA to cover 2024 dues, Horsemen’s Journal assessment, convention registrations and convention sponsorship. Motion passed.
Director Jarvis moved and President Poole seconded a motion that a contribution of $15,000 be made from the Industry Initiative Fund to the Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky to support the ongoing research of Dr. Tom Tobin. Motion passed.
Director Jarvis moved and President Poole seconded a motion that a contribution of $55,000 from the Industry Initiative Fund be made to the Ohio HBPA Scholarship Fund to support on-track, 4H and FFA scholarships. Motion passed.
Director Doering moved and President Poole seconded a motion that a contribution of $30,000 be made from the Industry Initiative Fund to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Motion passed.
Director Miller moved and Director Poe seconded a motion that a contribution of $100,000 be made from the Industry Initiative Fund to New Vocations in support of their retraining and rehoming of thoroughbreds off of Ohio’s racetracks. Motion passed.
President Poole moved and Director Sikora seconded a motion that a contribution of $10,000 be made to the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance in support of their equine medication threshold and contamination research projects. Motion passed.
Director Doering moved and Director Poe seconded a motion that a contribution of $35,000 be made from the Industry Initiative Fund to the Belterra Park Purse account to support purses for quarter horses races run at Belterra Park in 2024. Motion passed.
President Poole moved and Director Miller seconded a motion that a contribution of $100,000 from the Industry Initiative Fund be made to CANTER Michigan in support of their rehabilitation and rehoming of thoroughbreds off of Ohio’s racetracks. Motion passed.
Director Doering moved and Director Sikora seconded a motion authorizing the executive director to make combined contributions of up to $57,035 to the Ohio Farm Bureau and the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation supporting sponsorships to and programs of those organizations. Motion passed.
Director Doering moved and Director Poe seconded a motion that contributions from the Industry Initiative Fund in the amounts of $12,000 to the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America in support of a chaplain for the 2024 racing season at Belterra Park and for $24,000 to the Racetrack Chaplaincy of Ohio in support of the work of Reverend Harris at Mahoning Valley Race Course for the fall meet and Thistledown to be distributed at $2,666,66 monthly. Motion passed.
Director Doering moved and Director Poe seconded a motion that the HBPA will pay from the Industry Initiative Fund up to $200 to provide a meal for those attending the weekly services of Reverend Harris at Mahoning Valley and Thistledown race tracks upon the office receiving the receipts for the food for each of the services. Motion passed.
Director Sikora moved and Director Doering seconded a motion to deny a personal benevolence request for the veterinary bills of a horse. Motion passed.
The date for the next OHBPA board meeting was set for Friday, March 15, 2024 beginning at 11:00am at the main OHBPA office. (This was subsequently changed to March 8th, 2024 due to a scheduling conflict.)

Adjournment:

President Poole moved and Director Poe seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.