March 2023

Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Friday, March 17th, 2023
Ohio HBPA Main Office, Grove City, OH

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

Members Unable to Attend: Susan Anderson, Mike Rone and Robin Schuster

Others Present:

Executive Director Dave Basler,

Call to Order/ Approval of Minutes:

President Poole called the meeting to order. After review Director Poe moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the January 13, 2023 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting. Motion passed.

Executive Director’s Report:

The executive director provided updates on the various lawsuits still in play against HISA. Basler also detailed that he had heard the Ohio permit holders were contemplating a plan to charge each owner a per start fee to pay for the 2023 HISA assessments.

Basler informed the board that he had Dr. Mary Scollay, Chief of Science for HIWU, scheduled to make a presentation on the HISA ADMC program and answer questions at the horsemen’s meeting scheduled for the following Thursday at Mahoning Valley.

Following discussion Director Jarvis moved and President Poole seconded a motion that the executive director contact attorney John Duvieilh from the Jones Walker Firm in New Orleans regarding the possibility of the Ohio HBPA filing a new lawsuit in the Fifth Circuit against the HISA ADMC and authorizing the initial expenditure of up to $50,000 for such a suit should Duvieilh recommend moving forward. Motion passed.

Director Jarvis moved and Director Poole seconded a motion that if Duvieilh recommended filing in a different circuit that the executive director be authorized to make that change. Motion passed.
The executive director and President Poole gave an update on the National HBPA convention which took place in New Orleans earlier in the month and largely focused on HISA.

Purses and Wagering

Basler updated the board on the current status of the purse accounts at all three Ohio thoroughbred tracks detailing that Thistledown had a total of $8,861,376 available for purses through the end of January, 2023 as compared to $8,359,854 through the end of January 2022. As of March 1, 2023 Mahoning Valley had a total of $2,059,529 available for purses down from $2,555,152 on March 1, 2022 however he explained that were many more cancellations during January and February in 2022 and 8 more racing days were run during those months in 2023. Basler explained that he was waiting for corrected purse reports for the final three months of 2022 from Belterra Park including handouts to the board of the current reports he had received showing the board errors on those reports totaling over $1 million dollars.

Basler went through handouts provided to the board showing VLT revenues for the state’s seven commercial racetracks which showed that Mahoning Valley recorded a net win of $13,547,180 in February which was up nearly $1 million dollars from the February, 2022 net win figure at the track. Thistledown showed a $15,497,989 February net win which was up over $1,125,000 from the prior year net win in February. The net win at Belterra Park was $6,962,124 in February which was an increase of just under $200,000 from the prior year figure at the track.

Government and External Affairs

Director Jarvis led a discussion regarding the OTBO. Board members expressed concerns regarding the organization not having a formal election in the past several years. Concerns were also expressed in regards to the fact that not all stallion auction proceeds went to the organization but this is not disclosed to bidders or potential bidders in the auction. It was also noted by the Board that the OTBO had done a good job at shoring up their finances to the point that they could now support themselves.

Director Jarvis moved and Director Sikora seconded a motion to deny the OTBO’s written request for $75,000 in funding. Motion passed with President Poole abstaining.

Benevolence, Policies and Organization

Discussion was held regarding section Section 7.5 of the Ohio HBPA Code of Regulations. Director Doering moved and President Poole seconded a motion that in order to clarify the original intent of the section as well as adjust for changing conditions in the industry Section 7.5 of the Ohio HBPA Code of Regulations be changed to read as follows;

“No person or spouse of a member who is an officer or director of, or employed by an Ohio Racing Association, the Ohio State Racing Commission, HISA, HIWU or any committee of those organizations, rival racing or other organization involving a conflict of interest, or owner of a beneficial interest in a business operated at a race track or any other Association of Thoroughbred horsemen shall be put on the ballot as a candidate for Director; provided that this prohibition may be waived by the vote of two-thirds (2/3rds) of the Board of Directors where extraordinary circumstances are present and where such a waiver is clearly in the best interest of the Corporation. Provided, further, that a candidate may make himself eligible by resigning his position with any other association one (1) year prior to being placed on the ballot. The burden of providing such a resignation shall be upon the candidate. Further, no person who is elected as an officer may enter any of the relationships prohibited hereinabove during his term of office, except as provided for in this section. The Board of Directors should grant waivers of the prohibition of officers and trustees of breeders’ organizations serving as Officers and Directors except in those cases where there is clearly a conflict of interest. Waivers can be determined via a conference call of the Board of Directors.”

Motion passed with Director Jarvis voting no.

Budget and Finance

Following discussion President Poole moved and Director Doering seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA pay each owner in the eighth race at Mahoning Valley on February 21, 2023 $250 from the Industry Initiative Fund to help cover race day expenses as the race was declared a no contest due to a gate malfunction.

Following discussion Director Sikora moved and Director Doering seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA contribute $250 from the PAC Fund to Grove City Mayor candidate Ike Stage. Motion passed with Director Jarvis voting no.

President Poole moved and Director Poe seconded a motion that the board enter executive session to discuss the Thistledown contract negotiations. Motion passed.

No motions were made during the executive session.

Director Jarvis moved and Director Poe seconded a motion to come out of executive session. Motion passed.

Director Jarvis moved that the executive director be authorized to contact legal counsel and have them draft a demand letter to Mahoning Valley Race Course regarding the cancellation of the last four races on February 13, 2023 due to not having a functioning water truck. Motion passed.

The date for the next OHBPA board meeting was set for Friday, May 12th, 2023 beginning at 11:00am at the main OHBPA office.


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