Welcome to our new Web site! Our Communication Committee, chaired by Carlo Vaccarezza, has designed and created a 21st Century version of what a horse racing industry Web site should be. In time, we’ll be incorporating all the features of the old Web site (www.fhbpa.com) into this new incarnation. And gradually after that we’ll take down the old site and steer everyone onto this new site (floridahorsemen.org).
None of this will happen overnight and I’ll make sure everyone is aware of each step in the process.
My plans for this column going forward are to use it as a forum to update our members on issues of importance to Florida horsemen and, further, to keep them informed about how we are addressing these issues. One thing has become increasingly clear to me in the past few years during which I’ve been President . . . it’s never dull in the Sunshine State! Always a new battlefront just over the horizon.
Most recently, Kent Stirling and I attended a Rules Workshop in Orlando which was held by the Florida Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering. Officers of the FHBPA have been working for many months with the Breeders, the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association, the track and, now, the Jockey’s Guild as a united group in an ongoing effort to get some racing rules in place in Florida that make sense to a logical person. Further, it’s vital that such rules serve to prevent “sham” racing from continuing to pop up all around the state. Barrel Racing at Gretna and a bastardized form of “quarter horse” racing in South Marion County, for example.
Obviously, neither of these outfits care one with about legitimate horse racing. All these pari-mutuel permitholders are interested in is exploiting badly written rules so as to first gain a card room and then, ultimately a casino. And, believe me, more like them are waiting in the wings.
All this makes a mockery of horse racing in Florida. So, our “United Florida Horsemen” are fighting the good fight to get rules in place to define once and for all what legitimate horse racing is in Florida.
We’re making good progress, I believe. And one other thing is certain . . . we’ve made an impression in Tallahassee. Led by Herb Sheheane, our lobbyists hear continually praise Florida Horsemen’s groups for being so well united. If we can keep up that momentum, we’ll get this done.
In this initial column, I’d also like to mention that we’re working diligently with other horsemen’s groups around the country in the struggle against any kind of national or local Lasix ban. We’re up against some powerful adversaries.
Please click here to read the position of the FHBPA regarding Lasix as reprinted in the Paulick Report. I hope you’ll take the time to read it.
Any questions or comments, or if there are any issues you’d like addressed in this column, please contact me at the office number or email address listed on this site. I look forward to hearing from you. Hope to see you in the winners’ circle!