Page 81 - NM Winter 2023
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                  MEETING TIME
  Tom Goncharoff, Walt Wiggins, Mike Logan, Debra Laney, Helen Nave, Patrick Sanders, Warren Franklin, Denise Chambliss, Mark Brown, Brian Anderson and Norma Alvarez.
 by the major stakeholders in this industry is a real problem,” Mr. Vincent said. “Why do we allow the (New Mexico) Racing Commission to abandon the committees they used to have, like the rules committee, medications committee and race dates committee.
“We need racing opportunities, and we need them to be consistent,” he added. “We have talked many times about this. There seems to be no middle ground for horses. One day you are an allowance horse, and then the next race you’re a $5,000 claimer.
“Another problem is the expenses incurred by trainers having to pick up and move over and over from track to track. The number
of stalls available is also always a problem. Another area that is in the rules is that tracks need to be open for training (at least) 30 days before their meets start. Why do we allow them to not follow these rules.”
Mr. Vincent then turned the discussion to New Mexico’s racetracks. He acknowledged the presence of Sunland Park director of racing Dustin Dix at the meeting, and he thanked Mr. Dix for his attendance.
“The issue is how we treat trainers, owners and patrons,” Mr. Vincent said. “When we shut down, a lot of these owners and trainers went out of state to race, and when they came back they talked about how much better they were treated somewhere else. What happened to the betting contests, seminars, business-to-business relationships, ownership clubs and internships? There are ways to improve, and every year we should try to do better.”
Mr Vincent then began to discuss the horse population and ways to increase the horses available to race in New Mexico.
“I’ve heard that it might help to have straight Thoroughbred and straight Quarter
Horse meets,” he said. “We have been talking about this for decades.”
Mr. Vincent added that he has designed a a schedule for straight meets, and he distributed to meeting attendees a handout that included some possible scenarios of how this could be achieved.
“Both breeds would need to be taken care of,” Mr. Vincent said. “Thoroughbreds would have 9-to-10 months of racing opportunities, and Quarter Horses would have racing opportunities for 7-to-8 months of the year.”
“We need to think about ways to minimize the number of times per year that
a trainer has to pick up their lives and move,” he added.
Mr. Vincent then moved the discussion to racing’s regulators. He said that the New Mexico Racing Commission has made significant progress in testing “and cleaning things up here,” but he said that it could be improved even further.
“Why aren’t we doing hair testing here like they are in Oklahoma and Texas?”
he asked. “Why is paper training allowed to continue?
“We are the third largest industry in New Mexico, and we might even be considered second because we overlap with tourism,” Mr. Vincent added. “We need to continue
to make sure that legislators and others are aware of that. We need to get the word out about the economic impact of our industry on the state of New Mexico.”
Ms. VanBebber discussed several
topics, including the topic of the microchipping of racehorses. Norma Alvarez, NMHBA first vice president, asked Ms. VanBebber if there was any difference between Lip Chip and microchip.
American Quarter Horse Association chief racing officer Janet VanBebber
 Amber Martin, Mary Barber and Erica Johnson
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