A quorum being present, the meeting of the American Mule Racing Association was called to order at 9:07 a.m. February 21, 2004, 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-nine 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.
Don Jacklin gave the President’s Report. President Jacklin announced that the year 2003 had been a good one for mule racing; that the Association was strong and united; that as in every Association there were some differences, but that differences were healthy. President Jacklin also presented the Board’s decision to appoint Kate Snider as Secretary-Treasurer and Advisor to the Board.
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 Director’s election. Gary McGraw and Kate Snider have withdrawn from the Board.
The minutes of the February 22, 2003 meeting held in Reno, Nevada had been previously published. Upon motion and second by Bert Johnson and Dave Montgomery, the minutes of said meeting were unanimously approved.
Kate Snider presented the financial recap on the year 2003. Upon motion and second by Gary McGraw and Mary McPherson the financial report and 2004 budget were unanimously approved.
Mary McPherson presented the membership applications and related that the dues are $25 annually.
Don Jacklin spoke as to the revised AMRA office structure. The on-track AMRA mule representative will no longer be responsible for calculation of speed index charts. All day-to-day business will be run from the office in Sacramento, California. The on-track representative will have the sole responsibility of filling races and assisting with writing conditions.
There was a new world record set at Fresno by Sarah Nelson for 440 yards – 25.113 seconds.
President Jacklin asked Bill Owen to speak as to the speed index “primer” he had authored. Upon request of the membership, Bill Owen will conduct a seminar at Stockton to explain to any interested members the method of computation for the speed index.
President Jacklin confirmed the rule change which states that a new animal’s speed index rating is an average of one – not two – in its first official start.
Upon motion and second by Bert Johnson and Roger Downey, it was unanimously agreed by the membership that the understanding from 2003 will continue and speed indexes from Winnemucca and Ferndale will not be used to compute an animal’s speed index. The members were requested to send in writing the names of any animals currently listed on the speed index chart that are no longer racing.
The handbook for the year 2004 was made available to the membership.
The three year old futurities were discussed. The AMRA Futurity will again be run in Fresno. The California State Fair will host the Straight from the Gate Futurity. The Humboldt County Fair in Nevada will host the three year old futurity in June.
Sue Andrus was introduced as the new on-track mule representative. Sue spoke as to her references and her desire to promote the sport of mule racing. President Jacklin requested a list of early race conditions.
Kate Snider discussed the website. There were over 11,700 hits to date. The website has been expanded to include member advertising and sire showcase.
Kate Snider reported on California racing in 2003. In 2003, there was a herd of 71 mules. There were 95 races run. The average runners per race was 7.24. The average purse was $5,059. Total purses in 2003 were $480,645. The total handle for 2003 was $6,590,871.
Roger Downey spoke as to the newsletter. He has asked the membership for information and articles for the newsletter
Roger Downey spoke as to the endurance program and the endurance race at Winnemucca. Roger has enlisted the help of member JoDe Collins to discuss the program.
Member Barbara Owen spoke as to Nevada SB 3, which makes various changes to off-track pari-mutuel wagering. The bill passed unanimously.
Winnemucca representative Kim Peterson spoke as to the upcoming race meet for 2004. Because of the passing of SB 3, there will be an infusion of $11,000 - $12,000 for purses at Winnemucca this year. Humboldt County Fair will put up $15,000 in addition to the purses.
The membership discussed a clarification on the year end award for trainers. Upon motion and second by Ruth Burdick and Dave Montgomery, it was unanimously decided to use the point calculation method to arrive at year-end awards for trainer.
The leading Cal Bred mule award was discussed. There will be a buckle awarded and fairs in both the north and south will count toward the award. Pomona will be included in the point calculation.
Jim Schleimer moved to eliminate the claimer awards. There was no second to his motion.
Upon motion and second by Mike McCaffrey and Dave Montgomery, it was unanimously agreed that a minimum of three races must be entered and run to have a qualifying claimer for the award.
The jockey awards were discussed. The Board made a recommendation that a jockey is entitled to win only one division. If the same jockey qualifies in two divisions, the jockey in second place will move up and be the award winner for the year. Upon motion and second by Bert Johnson and Rhoda March, it was unanimously approved to accept the Board’s recommendation. The award for each division will be $500.
The race meet at Los Alamitos was discussed for 2004. Through Ruby Thomas, Ron Church from Los Alamitos has asked the Association for a count of number of mules and for suggested conditions. President Jacklin called on the membership for a count. There will be a maximum of 27 mules ready to run at Los Alamitos. Sue Andrus has been directed to put together four races with a field of 8 in each. Sue is to talk to Ron about the Association running at Los Alamitos the middle two weeks in May. The membership agreed that neither points nor speed indexes from Los Alamitos should count toward year end computations.
The membership broke for lunch at 12:07 and reconvened at 1:20.
Mary McPherson introduced the nominees for the Board of Directors election. They were: Steve DeMarta, Tom Krahelski, Mike McCaffrey, Mary Lou Slender and Dave Wood. There were 13 people nominated in all, but according to the by-laws only the top five nominees were on the ballot. Jim Schleimer asked nominations be taken from the floor. There were no additional nominations. Upon motion and second by Gary McGraw and Bob Davis, there being no nominations from the floor, the nominations were closed.
The Cal Bred program was discussed. Jim Schleimer suggested doing away with the dam award or reducing the funds paid to the dam’s owner. He also suggested using a Breeders’ Certificate for the Cal Bred animals. Jim Schleimer made a motion not to approve any Cal Bred without knowing the jack’s name and knowing two generations of breeding. The motion was then amended by Jim Schleimer and seconded by Bert Johnson to approve as Cal Bred’s only mules where at least one parentage generation is known and a foaling or breeder’s certificate is presented. The motion carried.
Roger Pelish suggested a review of the by-laws to make the term “member” apply to only a person with a vested interest in a mule. After discussion by the membership, it was decided that there be no change in the by-laws on this subject.
Terry Shelton suggested a review of the by-laws to limit the term of future directors. After discussion by the membership, it was decided that there be no change to the by-laws on this subject.
Mary McPherson distributed ballots to all voting members. The result of the election was as follows: Dave Wood and Tom Krahelski. There was a tie between Mary Lou Slender and Mike McCaffrey. Mary McPherson distributed ballots again to all voting members. The result of the run off election was Mary Lou Slender.
The Jockey Incentive Program was discussed. It was felt by the membership that the program for 2003 was a success. Upon motion and second by Terry Shelton and Roger Downey, it was unanimously approved to increase the incentive program to $15 per ride for jockeys riding the entire fair circuit.
The 2004 annual meeting, scheduled in 2005 will be February 26. Kate Snider has been directed to obtain competitive bids for hotels in the Reno area.
Bert Johnson spoke as to the Workers Comp issue in the state of California. There was a possibility of some relief through a private insurance company, but Dr. Johnson discovered that the AMRA does not have a large enough base to be considered by the private company.
Roger Pelish suggested a marketing program. President Jacklin appointed Roger Pelish, Selina Galick, Jim Schleimer and Barbara Owen as the Marketing Committee. The committee is to report to the membership at the Winnemucca race meet with the marketing plan for 2004.
Jim Schleimer spoke as to the Hall of Fame. There are no nominees at this time.
Upon motion and second by Selina Galick and Dave Montgomery, there being
no further business, President Jacklin adjourned the meeting at 3:05 p.m.