The Racing Journal Logo

Montana Task Force needs horsemenís input

May 17, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

The first official meeting of the Montana Horse Racing Task Force, held in Helena on May 9, brought out many problems that the horse industry is facing in Montana. The discussion ranged from the cost of racing, to purses, to dates, to facilities, to insurance, to associations, to breeding facilities, to numbers of stallions and mares in the state.

In every thing discussed there seems to be a shortage: not enough money, purses are too low, too few race dates, not enough training facilities, insurance costs are too high, horsemen associations have fallen apart, breeding facilities have left the state or closed, owners and trainers have left the business or moved out of state - all leaving the industry in very poor shape.

If you have followed racing at all in Montana, you must know that something must be done for it to survive. What is encouraging is that the Governor and other state officials want to see it fixed and are willing to give their full support. The Task Force has nine willing members that are working to come up with solutions to the problem. But we need your help and suggestions, and more importantly, your involvement.

At the first meeting, an open-to-the-public meeting, there were very few horsemen in attendance. I realize this was an organizational meeting and many felt that it would not be time for suggestions.
The next meeting will be in Helena on June 6. Mark your calendar and plan to be there.

After much thought about the industry, it seems to me that everything canít be solved all at once. So the rebuilding of the industry must be developed in stages in order to make it grow.
I think that there are three things that need to be addressed first. They are: Money, Facilities and Race Dates. I am sending this as an invitation and an open forum for any suggestions that you may have to improve the industry.

E-mail your suggestions to:

The Racing Journal
5090 Eastside Hwy
Stevensville, MT 59870