Everything in Texas is supposed to be bigger, how about our hearts? With a little help and a lot of luck we have managed to bring attention of the dire need to provide care to retired racehorses to our state legislators. Yesterday a meeting was held in Austin to introduce horse retirement issue to the Sunset Committee. Representatives from the Texas Horsemans Partnership Lane Hutchins and Tommy Azopardi were at the meeting to present the committee a few simple ideas that will raise money for the rehabilitation, retraining, and placing exracehorses in permanent homes.
About the time Lights On Broadway retired to our farm Dallas and I started thinking of ways to generate constant cash flow to provide for the care of horses when they retire. One of the things we discussed was raising money through the Texas Racing Commission by adding a couple of bucks to the cost of a racing license. By doing that every person that profits directly from horse racing whether they be owners, trainers, jockeys or employees of racing facilities would help provide care for the horses in which they earn an income from. The small amount collected from the licenses could benefit horses in a big way.
On Tuesday the idea was well received by the Sunset Committee and could possibly make the Texas horsemen and women directly associated with horseracing the first in the nation to have set up a fund of this kind. In addition to the license fee increase there was also discussion to take a small piece of the breeders awards. I am sure that will have some opposition from the folks who breed but do not run their own horses. Sorry folks, this is much needed.
Texas finally has its best chance ever at getting the VLT's with the change in Texas Government. Our new Speaker of the House Joe Straus is a horsemen and supports the bill. VLT's at Texas racetracks will not only make purses competitive with other states but will set aside a portion of the revenue for equine research and racehorse retirement. In addition, there is also to be money set aside for other breed registries such as the AQHA, the Cutting Horse Assn, the Friesians, the Gypsy horses, and so on and so on. Every group associated with horses can apply to the Agriculture Department to receive benefits.