The NEHBPA spent the day at the State House dispensing flyers and educating Legislators about how the RHDF is building an industry, creating jobs, preserving open space, breeding farms, and agricultural businesses in the State. Our full time Lobbyist, Brian Hickey is at the State House daily fighting for your livelihood and protecting the Race Horse Development Fund from the attempts to redirect the Thoroughbred portion of 15 million to other uses. “The hope is the House does not adopt the Senate amendment,” said Hickey, who added he would meet on the evening of June 7 with House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D), who has long been an ardent supporter of the racing industry.
Our Representatives were on Beacon Hill to further the cause knowing the Standardbred horsemen were present to promote their interests. Originally, the RHDF was split 75%-25% Thoroughbred to Standardbred, but with Suffolk Downs reduced to just six days of live racing per calendar year, the share was shifted 55%-45% in favor of the harness horsemen. Although the Standardbred industry portion of the RHDF is not affected by these current attempts to take the Thoroughbred portion held in escrow, should the current split be re-negotiated in August the Standardbred industry would then benefit from the total amount in the fund at that time.
The NEHBPA understands this and works tirelessly with Legislatures on a daily basis to protect this fund, not just on special ‘occasions’… It is in every horseman’s interest to promote a united front to protect the industry and build a functioning Horse Park and bring back full time racing!