Stall Trot Supports NY Horse Industry

Recent NY legislative initiatives aimed to salvage the broken NYC OTB and strip funds from NY Sires Stakes programs have elicited response from responsible breeders and owners from throughout North America, including our organization, that support the NY program.

Dear Senator Adams:

Our organization and the families of its owners have bred, owned and raced NY bred standardbred horses for over 60 years. We understand the enormous economic “multiplier affect” that our horse industry ( standardbred and thoroughbred) contributes to NYS, specifically in the support of breeding farms, racetracks, support services such as hay and grain farmers, veterinary services, blacksmith services and universities; employment of thousands of tax-paying people throughout the state, horse sales conducted at Morrisville College and by thoroughbred sale companies in Saratoga and maintenance of thousands of green-space acres.

Unfortunately, the longstanding poorly run OTB operations have not represented the industry and its patrons effectively. I have visited several, as recently as last week, and they continue to be an embarrassment to the horse industry, its tradition, culture and attractiveness as a wagering alternative. NYC OTB and in fact statewide OTB should be totally reorganized and embodied in a non-profit corporation operated by representatives of the NY Dept. of Agriculture and the horse industry participants, including track operators. Other states (and other countries) have vibrant OTB operations that contribute to pari-mutual wagering consistent growth in countries such as France, Sweden and Norway. We suggest that you allow NYC OTB to perish, and move on with the non-for-profit structure that we believe will better benefit the state, its horse and agricultural industry and its voters. Do the right thing for an important segment of the NYS economy.

Likewise we suggest that you strongly oppose Gov. Patterson’s proposed cut to NY standardbred breeders funding by 48%. Coupled with the OTB wreckage this would lower the NY program from its current $16mm, a level still below that of PA, IN and Ontario, to about $7mm according to Harness Horse Breeders of New York State. At the lower level the NY program would no longer be competitive and would result in the closure of breeding farms, movement of stallions and broodmares to more lucrative states and to Ontario. This would result to lower employment, lower tax revenues and further exodus of working people from NY. As a mid-size breeder of quality trotters I can assure you we would move our operation out of the state and we would do so starting in 2010.

Again, we urge you to support jobs, retain an important industry segment, and place organizations responsible for pari-mutuel wagering in the hands of knowledgeable, ethical businesspeople with industry related experience for the benefit of customers, the state and the horse/agriculture industry. Thank you in advance for your consideration and support.

Stall Trot, Inc.

Leave a Reply