A quorum being present, the meeting of the American Mule Racing Association was called to order at 9:10 a.m., February 26, 2005, by President Don Jacklin at Harrah’s Hotel/Casino in Reno, Nevada.
The following board members were in attendance: Don Jacklin, Dave Wood, Roger Downey, Mary McPherson, Tom Krahelski and Mary Lou Slender. Forty-one members/guests were in attendance. The list is attached hereto and made a part of the minutes hereof.
There was an introduction of the Board of Directors and the general membership and guests.
President Jacklin stated that there would be one addition to the agenda. A representative from the race track in Grants Pass, Oregon, would be speaking on the mules’ running at their race meet. With this addition, the agenda was reviewed and approved.
The evening banquet was discussed.
Mary McPherson as head of the Nominations Committee discussed the nomination procedure and gave the list of those nominated for the Board of Directors’ election. The Board members whose terms are up are Don Jacklin, Roger Downey and Mary McPherson. In addition, Jimmy Pettis and Jim Schleimer were nominated as candidates.
The minutes of the February 21, 2004 meeting held in Reno, Nevada had been previously published. Upon motion and second by Jim Schleimer and Bert Johnson, the minutes of said meeting were unanimously approved.
Don Jacklin gave the President’s Report. President Jacklin announced that the year 2004 had been good for mule racing; that it was imperative that mules are entered and run in races in order for the handle to continue to grow. President Jacklin also stated that the Association was financially healthy. Our 2005 budget can be met and one year of reserve funds is in place. Erosion of reserves may occur over the next several years as CalBred animals increase.
Kate Snider presented the financial recap on the year 2004. Upon motion and second by Mary McPherson and Dave Montgomery, the financial report and 2005 budget were unanimously approved.
Mary McPherson presented the membership applications and related that the dues are $25 annually.
There was a new world record set by Smoking Joe. Sandy Comontofski
brought to the membership’s attention that in this particular race, the
trainer, Jackie Payton, had been fined for a Substance IV drug that had
been administered to Smoking Joe. She questioned if a world’s record
should stand if an animal had been administered an illegal substance.
After membership discussion, it was agreed that since Smoking Joe had not been taken down and only the trainer fined, the record should stand.
There was also an unofficial world record set at Ferndale in a hand-timed race. Sarah Nelson set the record at 660 yards. Sarah Nelson did set a new world record for 440 yards in 24:904 at Sacramento.
The method of computing speed indexes was discussed. Suggestions were made as to changing the speed index after each race, one a week or at the end of the meet as we presently do. There was also discussion on the subject of a new animal’s index being ascertained after one race. After discussion, Bert Johnson made a motion to establish a speed index on a new animal after one race, but the index would not become official until the end of the first meet in which that animal runs. The motion was seconded by Sue Andrus. President Jacklin called for discussion on the motion. After discussion by the membership, Bert Johnson called for the question on the motion. The motion passed with one opposing vote by Jim Schleimer.
Speed indexes are not to count in 2005 from Winnemucca, Los Alamitos or Ferndale.
Rod Lowe from the race track in Grants Pass, Oregon, spoke as to their race meet. The management of the race track would like to extend an invitation to the mules to run at their meet. The dates of the meet are May 14 through July 4. President Jacklin explained to Mr. Lowe that the mules historically begin the season with the first weekend in June at Winnemucca and run through October in Fresno. Mr. Lowe discussed incentives that would be available should the Association decide to run at Grants Pass. Workers’ Comp is not an issue. Mr. Lowe is checking into the details of other insurance coverage.
Kate Snider spoke as to the futurities in Sacramento and Fresno. The Straight from the Gate Futurity in Sacramento will run again this year. The AMRA Futurity will be run in Fresno. Nomination forms and rules are available in the AMRA rule book.
President Jacklin called for a short break at 10:12 a.m. The meeting reconvened at 10:30 a.m.
Kate Snider discussed the website. There were 13,454 hits to date. Ms. Snider requested any photos or stories to be included on the website. Advertising on the site is free for members.
Kim Peterson spoke as to the race meet in Winnemucca, Nevada. There is approximately $20,000 available in 2005 for purses. Mr. Peterson is looking into an electronic timing system for the race track. The bottom purse for 2005 will be approximately $1,000.
Kate Snider reported on California racing in 2004. In 2004 there were 105 races run. The average runners per race were 7 – a decrease of 3.3% from 2003. The average purse was $5,245. Total purses paid were $550,770 – an increase of 14.6% from 2003. Total handle wagered on the mules in 2004 was $5,804,843.
Rhoda March was introduced as the new racing representative. Ms. March is to report to the membership at Winnemucca on the possibility of workers’ comp relief for emerging breeds. Ms. March received full Board support. Ms. March spoke as to her qualifications and her feelings that there will be “no mule left behind.” She will do everything in her power to assure that every mule has a chance to run. Ms. March will present the Racing Secretaries at the summer fairs with a list of the Association’s desired conditions. President Jacklin spoke as to the Board’s agreeing that at some time in the future when Ms. March does not wish to renew her contract, the members will have an opportunity for input as to the new representative.
The year-end awards program was discussed. Sandy Comontofski made the suggestion to change the point system to a 5-3-1 award. Ms. Comontofski also suggested that members be notified periodically throughout the year on their animals’ point standing. Upon motion and second by Roger Pelish and Sandy Comontofski, it was unanimously agreed by the membership that the point system for awards be changed to a 5-3-1 award.
The new category of 85–96 speed index was discussed. Upon motion and second by Tom Krahelski and Dave Montgomery, it was unanimously agreed to keep the 85-96 speed index award for 2005.
The long distance award was discussed. Sandy Comontofski made the suggestion to drop the clause that a mule must win a race to eligible for the award; that the award should be based on total accumulated points. Rhoda March suggested that the mule must run in at least two races and to drop the award if there was only one race. President Jacklin called for the motion. Motion failed. Dave Montgomery made a motion that the 5-3-1 point system be adopted and that a mule must run in a minimum of three long distance races to be eligible to win the award. Bill Owen called for a clarification of the motion that the points only counted toward the long distance award and that the mule did not have to win a race to qualify. The motion carried with 22 in favor and 14 opposed.
Caralee Scala suggested keeping the buckles and trophies as awards but giving the members a choice of a few other items as well.
Year-end award status information will be provided at one or two fair meets and final results published by December 31 each year.
President Jacklin spoke as to racing at Los Alamitos in 2005. Mr. Jacklin has not heard from Mr. Church at Los Alamitos. Ruby Thomas stated that she was told by Mr. Church that he had not discussed the matter with Dr. Allred at this time.
The meeting was adjourned for lunch at 11:50 a.m.
The meeting reconvened at 1:15 p.m.
Roger Downey asked for assistance with the newsletter. He stated that his office would still mail out the newsletters, but that he would request someone else’s help with creating the letter. Sue Andrus and Ruby Thomas volunteered to create the newsletter. Mr. Downey asked for photos and stories to be included.
Roger Downey spoke as to the endurance program. The Winnemucca purse is $4,000.
Kate Snider spoke as to the Cal Bred program. Currently, there are 76 mules in the system; 60 of those are runners. In 2004 $24,864 was earned for breeders. $24,800 was paid out to Cal Bred animals.
Rhoda March spoke as to the Cal Bred Dam Program. Ms. March stated in the research she had done, the award was to go to the breeder – not to the animal. The breeder is the owner/lessee of the animal at the time of foaling. Ms. March will author a new Cal Bred breeder’s form for presentation at Winnemucca.
President Jacklin stated the importance of investigating lineage for the mules. It was no longer acceptable to merely list “unknown.” for sire and/or dam.
Mary McPherson introduced the nominees for the Board of Directors’ election. They were: Don Jacklin, Roger Downey, Mary McPherson, Jimmy Pettis and Jim Schleimer. Bert Johnson was nominated from the floor. Upon motion and second by Bert Johnson and Steve DeMarta, the nominations were closed. Mary McPherson distributed ballots to all voting members. Ms. McPherson appointed Mary Lou Slender, Lynn Montgomery and Caralee Scala to count ballots. As a Board candidate, Ms. McPherson abstained from assisting in the ballot counting.
Kate Snider discussed proposed summer fair dates. The proposed dates are listed in the handbook and were made available to the members. Ms. Snider stated that until approved by the California Horse Racing Board, all dates are subject to change.
Jim Schleimer made a presentation on altering speed indexes. Animals that have an issue during a race could have their low speed index deleted from the speed index formula. After membership discussion, it was decided not to change the formula.
There were no new nominees for induction into the Hall of Fame for 2004.
The 2005 annual meeting, scheduled in 2006, will be February 25 at Harrah’s Casino in Reno.
Ms. McPherson’s committee returned with the following results from the membership’s Board of Directors vote: Don Jacklin, Roger Downey and Mary McPherson.
Promotions and sponsorships were discussed. Roger Downey has spoken with some prospective sponsors and will report at the Winnemucca meeting on any progress.
President Jacklin spoke again as to the Los Alamitos and Grants Pass race meets. There were approximately 15 – 20 animals that would be ready to run at one or the other of these meets, depending on purse structure and/or workers’ comp issues in Oregon. The weekend available is the second weekend in June.
The by-laws were reviewed. There will be no changes to the by-laws.
A suggestion was made that the Association make more of an attempt to contact jockeys to attend the annual meeting. It was also suggested that the Association pay for their expenses.
The next Board of Directors’ meeting will be held June 5, 2005 at 9:00 a.m. in Winnemucca, Nevada.
Upon motion and second by Bert Johnson and Dave Mongtomery, there being
no further business, President Jacklin adjourned the meeting at 2:20 p.m.