Northern California News

By Charles E. Dougherty

Deputy Director's Report - Spring 2010

We all hear the daily stories about horses leaving our state by the day, you continue to hear about owners no longer able to afford the horses, or you hear about one breeder after the next cutting back on the amount of horses they plan to breed. Unfortunately, this has become everyday talk amongst the horsemen both North and South. Is there any hope? Well, if the message being sent from the State Capital in Sacramento that Governor Schwarzenegger wants to help racing is his final year in office is true, yes, there is hope. Racing is in desperate need of some legislation that will help build our purses that continue to shrink. To have the Governor personally backing legislation can only help, right?

Here is what we know: The racing lobbyists were called to a meeting with the Governor's staff in January. They were told to get all the industry members to reach a consensus and bring back language on legislation that the industry could support. The CHRB then followed that meeting with a Legislative Committee meeting on March 4 at the Capital in which all segments of the industry were asked for ideas and/or a wish list for legislative action. The most common themes expressed centered on instant racing machines, establishing a betting exchange, and rewording the mileage restrictions concerning the mini-satellites. The CHRB, under the new chairman, Keith Brackpool, is determined to put forth a comprehensive legislative package that all of racing could support, but more importantly, get the Governor's backing. Rest assured, the CTT is very much involved and engaged in all these talks!