Tag Archives: Breeders’ Awards

Change proposed for Michigan state-bred purse supplements

The Michigan State Senate introduced an amendment to the Michigan Horse Racing Act of 1995 on Tuesday to account for the possibility of no live Thoroughbred racing in 2011.

Senate Bill 434, introduced by Fowlerville Sen. Joe Hune, would distribute Michigan’s state-bred purse supplements to horses that win allowance or claiming races outside the state if no live racing is held within the fiscal year. Michigan’s current fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

Here is the proposed language to be added to the Act (section 6.A). The new addition is in bold…

(a) A sum to be allotted thoroughbred race meeting licensees to supplement the purses for races to be conducted exclusively for Michigan bred horses. If, during a fiscal year, live thoroughbred horse races are not conducted at a licensed race meeting in this state, the sum appropriated under this subdivision shall be paid at the end of the fiscal year to supplement the purses of Michigan bred thoroughbred horses that win allowance and claiming races at licensed horse race tracks outside of this state.

To read the bill, click here.

To follow the bill as it makes its way through the Capitol, click here.

UPDATE: A similar bill is making its way through the State House of Representatives regarding Michigan’s breeder’s award program. Here is the language that would be changed in HB 4784…

If, during a fiscal year, live Thoroughbred horse races are not conducted at a licensed race meeting in this state, a sum shall be appropriated under this subdivision to pay breeders’ awards, in amounts not to exceed 10%  of the gross purses, to the breeders of Michigan bred Thoroughbred horses that win at races conducted at licensed horse racetracks outside of this state.

The bill, introduced last Thursday by Rep. Cindy Denby, was read for a first time and referred to the House Committee on Appropriations.

To read the bill’s language, click here.

To track the bill as it makes its way through Lansing, click here.

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Help Michigan horsemen fight for their funding

As readers of this blog and followers of the Michigan racing industry know, the future of the sport in this state could potentially rest in the hands of our elected officials in Lansing.

Following Gov. Jennifer Graholm’s proposed cuts to the Michigan Ag Equine Fund, including drastic cuts to the state’s Equine Industry Fund and the disbanding of the owner’s and breeder’s incentive programs, the state Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee responded by restoring the monies to about 89% of the 2008/09 budget. Obviously, any cut hurts, but at least this will allow the industry to survive for the time being.

For a condensed version of the Senate’s proposed budget changes, click here. For an line item-by-line item overview, click here.

The issue will now head to the House of Representatives when the Legislature reconvienes from spring recess on April 21. The House Appropriations Sub Committee on Agriculture will draw up its own proposal for the ag-related funds, which will then be voted on by the entire House. After the revised budget is approved in a joint session, it will be put before the Governor for her approval.

Though the Senate proposed that most of the monies be restored, this does not guarantee the House will follow suit. The Equine Industry Fund is still in jeopardy. 

Because of this, the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association is encouraging participants, fans and others with interest in the racing industry to contact the members of the Michigan House Appropriations Sub Committee on Agriculture to let them know how important horse racing is in this state and how losing the industry would produce more long-term negatives than the temporary benefits of cuts can relieve. 

As I stated when the issue was put before the Senate, if you are affected by Michigan racing in any way – be it as a friend or relative of a horseman, an operator of a business frequented by a racetracker or breeder, or even someone who just likes to go to the track once a year and play the Kentucky Derby, I encourage you to join me in signing the letters offered below and telling the members of the sub committee to at least keep the funding at the level proposed by the Senate. Every letter counts, and a big stack of them will make a big impression.

For those interested in taking action, here are the letters offered from the MTOBA website. If you did not receive a pre-addressed letter from MTOBA and would like to help, the addresses of the subcommittee members are listed at the top of each page. For more information on the issue and how you can help, please contact MTOBA.

John Espinoza – Chair of the House Appropriations Sub Committee on Agriculture Gary

McDowell – Majority Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Sub Committee on Agriculture

Matt Lori – Minority Chair of the House Appropriations Sub Committee on Agriculture

Thanks again for your time and support of the Michigan horse racing industry.

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Michigan owners and breeders need your help

As some of you may have heard, one of the key points of Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s budget proposal for the 2010 fiscal year is significant cuts to the Agriculture sector, including major reductions and reconfiguration of funds in the racing industry.

From a letter sent out to members of the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association:

“The Governor has made a recommendation to reduce the appropriation to the Ag Equine Development by $5,200,000.00 and use the remaining $8,100,000.00 solely for support of equine purses and regulation. What this means to you as an owner or as a breeder, all the incentive programs will be taken away, the owners & breeders awards as well as the Michigan Bred supplement monies.”

To put it simply, no breeder’s awards means breeding in this state becomes financially impossible. No breeders means no Michigan-breds, which will spell the death of racing in this state. This can not be allowed to happen.

Because I am currently working on a 1,500-2,000 word story on this very subject for a class, I am going to abstain from writing at length on the subject so as not to have my professor discover this and cry “self-plagiarism.” 

However, that will not stop me from linking you to others who have written about Gov. Granholm’s proposed cuts.

Andrew at Turf Link has lots of useful information for those looking to learn more about the subject, including a link to the entire budget proposal document. 

Also, be sure to visit the MTOBA website for more information regarding the status of owner and breeder awards.

If you are a Michigan horseman, a friend of one, or operate a business a Michigan horseman frequents, I encourage you to visit the MTOBA website to get more information and download the letters to send to the three Senate Agriculture Subcommittee members asking them to consider the long-term health of racing in this state when making their decisions.

Fans and Horseplayers, if you frequent one of the Michigan racetracks, play one of the state’s tracks over simulcast, or just enjoy watching a Michigan-bred run at your favorite racetrack, I also encourage you to contact the members of the subcommittee and let them know how much Michigan racing means to you.

For those interested in taking action, here are the letters offered from the MTOBA website. If you are not an owner or breeder but would still like to help, the addresses of the subcommittee members are listed at the top of each page.

Cameron Brown – Chair of the Senate Appropriations Sub Committee on Agriculture

Ron Jelinek – Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Sub Committee on Agriculture

Martha Scott – Minority Chair of the Senate Appropriations Sub Committee on Agriculture

For the sake of horse racing in the state of Michigan, I hope the state’s horsemen can count on your support. Thank you for your time.

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