FEBRUARY 22, 2003


A quorum being present, the meeting of the American Mule Racing Association was called to order at 9:05 a.m. February 22, 2003, 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, Gary McGraw and Kate Snider. Forty-five members/guests were in attendance. The list is attached hereto and made a part of the minutes hereof.

The agenda was reviewed and approved.

The evening banquet was discussed.

The minutes of the February 23, 2002, meeting held in Reno, Nevada had been previously published in the Association newsletter. Upon motion and second by Dave Wood and Gary McGraw, the minutes of said meeting were unanimously approved.

Don Jacklin gave the President’s Report. President Jacklin announced that the Board had approved a one year contract for Charlie Palmer as Race Representative for the Association.

Kate Snider presented the budget for 2003 and a financial recap on the year 2002. Upon motion and second by Gary McGraw and Mary McPherson the financial report and budget were unanimously approved.

There were no new world records for the year 2002.

It was agreed by the membership that as in 2002 times from Winnemucca and Ferndale would not be used to compute speed index. Cal Bred races will be used as part of the computation. The members were requested to send in the names of any animals currently listed on the speed index chart that were no longer racing. This will make the list up to date for the year 2003.

The handbook for the year 2003 was made available to the membership. President Jacklin pointed out that an addition was made to the handbook to include the method of computing year-end points. It was also discussed and agreed that only three year old Futurities and three year old races will count toward year-end points for the Three-Year Old World Champion award.

President Jacklin spoke as to the AMRA Futurity in Fresno. The penalties have been reduced. Total penalties, when applicable, will equal $1,500 per entry.

Los Alamitos Racing Secretary, Ron Church, spoke as to the race meet in Los Alamitos and the desire of management at that track to have mules included on the card. Mr. Church and the management at Los Alamitos are concerned about the speed index method of race conditions the Association now uses. The track is considering a stake race that they would like to see be the biggest one on the circuit. There has not been a determination made at this time on the conditions for this race. Mr. Church stated that the distance and types of races are open to discussion. He also stated that since there is open space in the barn area, anyone filing a stall application that has a racing animal, will receive stall space. He stated that there may be an issue with jockeys and would like to raise the weights to 130. Upon being asked by the membership, Mr. Church also stated that mules would be allowed on the track for training at the same time as the horses in the morning; that he will look into night practice and schooling races for the mules in an effort to prevent accidents during a race; that all outriders and employees of Los Alamitos will treat mules, their owners and trainers with the same respect given horses, owners and trainers. Mr. Church stated that even though most contracts with the breeds state seven racing animals will constitute a race, he is not tied into a number. The membership was asked to demonstrate by a show of hands how many racing animals would be available in March and April. There were five. The membership was then asked how many would be available in May. There were 10. Mike McCaffrey asked that there might be consideration given to a limited series of races, so as to narrow the time. Deanna Cook asked about purse structure. A copy of the letter from Los Alamitos to the Association is attached to and made a part hereof these minutes. The Association’s race representative will be requested to contact Mr. Church with an updates from the membership. Gary Williams requested that all owners and trainers be notified of any races or changes.

Winnemucca representative Kim Peterson spoke as to the upcoming race meet for 2003. At President Jacklin’s request, the name of the event will be changed to the Winnemucca Mule Races, Show and Draft Horse Challenge. At this time, the Racing Secretary has not been contracted. Barbara Owen asked for information to promote the race meet in the Reno area. Gary McGraw asked if there was support from the businesses in town. Mr. Peterson responded in the affirmative. Gary McGraw stated that from our Association alone, there were 250 room nights for the event. Mr. Peterson reported that the purse distribution will remain the same and that for the Draft Horse Challenge, first place will be anywhere from $250 to $400.

Mary McPherson, head of the Nomination Committee, spoke as to the nomination procedures. There was a voting package sent to each 2002 paid member. Those up for re-election were Don Jacklin, Mary McPherson and Roger Downey. Also nominated were Bill Owen, Selina Gallick and Jim Schleimer. Upon motion and second by Jim Farley and Gary McGraw, it was unanimously approved that the nominations be closed.

Barbara Owen spoke as to Senate Bill 3 in Nevada. Barbara Owen has asked for support from the membership to assist her in gathering information for support for the bill.

Roger Downey spoke as to the newsletter. The first edition for 2003 will come out approximately March 15. Succeeding issues will be June, late summer and October 15. Selena Gallick asked that the return address be listed as AMRA. Mr. Downey said he will change the return address.

Cliff March gave a review of the racing year 2002. The number of races was up; average handle per race was down; number of starters was down; total value of purses was up and purses in general remained static. Mr. March spoke as to the issues concerning the Association: Workers’ Comp Insurance; racing at Pomona and Los Alamitos; proposed turn courses for Santa Rosa and Pleasanton; weights; and speed index categories.

The membership discussed claiming races versus optional claimers. The law will be checked as it relates to the language "speed index preferred" with regard to optional claimers. The race representative will make a recommendation to the racing secretaries for four book races in each condition book.

Roger Downey spoke as to Kansas racing. Eureka will race mid May through July 1 and Anthony will race July 1 – 15. Both meets are weekends only. Purses range from $1,800 to $1,900.

The Cal Bred program was discussed. Upon motion and second by Ed Burdick and Mei Davis, the existing Cal Bred program has been extended with the change in wording as follows: "As of January 1, 2003, all mules being Cal Bred registered must be DNA tested through the Association." A request will be made of the management of the San Joaquin County Fair that the Cal Bred race at Stockton be dedicated to the memory of Les Robison.

Upon motion and second by Sandy Comontofski and Selina Gallick there will be an additional award for the leading Cal Bred owner. This award is for the individual who accumulates the most points with his/her Cal Bred animals. The computation is by points awarded 3, 2 and 1 for winners of any type of race run in California on the Northern California Fair Circuit. The motion carried. Two members opposed the motion.

Upon motion and second by Selina Gallick and Tom Krahelski, it was unanimously approved to adopt the following new speed index category list:

61 and under

62 – 69

70 – 77

78 – 85


Upon motion and second by Bob Greb and Sandy Comontofski, it was unanimously approved to adopt a new jockey award of $500 for the emerging jockey.

Mary McPherson distributed ballots to all voting members. The result of the election was as follows: Don Jacklin, Mary McPherson and Roger Downey.

President Jacklin advised the membership that race dates for 2003 were printed in the handout.

Upon motion and second by Selina Gallick and Roger Downey, it was unanimously approved to raise jockeys’ weights to 130 lbs. The motion failed to carry.

Upon motion and second by Gary McGraw and Terry Shelton, a majority of the membership approved any points earned at Los Alamitos racetrack to count toward year-end awards.

President Jacklin spoke as to a request made by some of the membership to obtain a mailing list of all members. A list was circulated for members wishing to be added to this list.

President Jacklin spoke as to the Hall of Fame. Upon motion and second by Dave Montgomery and Dave Wood, it was unanimously approved to start a Hall of Fame for Racing Mules. The three mules inducted in 2003 were Moscow, Cajun Queen and Loretta Lynn. A fourth animal, Lucky Penny, is approved subject to disposition, discovery and retirement.

Roger Downey spoke as to the desire of the management at Bishop, California to have a race meet during Mule Days.

The 2003 annual meeting, scheduled in 2004 will be February 22 if hotel space is available at Harrah’s in Reno.

There being no further business, President Jacklin adjourned the meeting at 3:55 p.m.



Kate Snider