Response by United Florida Horsemen to December 13, 2011 First District Court of Appeal Order Denying the Emergency Motion to Stay “Pari-Mutuel Barrel Racing” at Gretna Racing, LLC:

“While we are disappointed with the Court’s decision to allow this Trojan Horse masquerade to continue for the time being, we are very grateful to the Court for considering our request and for granting us the unusual opportunity for an appellate hearing under these unfortunate and unprecedented circumstances.

It is important to note that the Court’s decision does not vindicate or validate in any way what the State and the permitholder are doing in Gretna. The Court is merely reserving judgment on the matter while we prove our case to put a stop to this illegal activity, and we fully intend to do that.

We look forward to having our day in court, and we remain confident that we will prevail on the merits in the end.

However, in the middle of widespread economic decline and job loss, it defies all reason that the State of Florida would expend taxpayer dollars in fierce litigation to defend the unilateral expansion of gambling through “pari-mutuel barrel racing”—a nefarious scheme designed to drastically cut jobs, people, horses and economic impact by replacing it all with slot machines. 

As far as we are concerned, there is no debate on the illegitimacy of this outright perpetration, since the numbers already speak for themselves:  Lost revenue to the State through dramatic handle and purse decreases, uninformed barrel competitors being cheated out of normal opportunity and fair winnings commensurate with the industry, and the fallacy of Gretna’s local elected officials pointing to empty bleachers and calling it all a ‘great success.’  

Florida law says pari-mutuel permitholders have an obligation to ensure revenue to the State.  Gretna Racing has clearly failed in its Department of Business and Professional Regulation-sponsored experiment, yet is ironically being artificially sustained by lack of regulatory oversight, despite strong opposition to expanded gambling from the Florida Legislature and Cabinet.”

The United Florida Horsemen are:

·         National and Florida Barrel Horse Association (24,000 members)

·         American Quarter Horse Association (350,000 national members; 7,163 Florida members)

·         Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association (439 members)

·         U.S. Trotting Association (25,000 members)

·         Florida Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association (630 members)

·         Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association (1,300 members)

·         National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (35,000 members)

·         Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (5,000 members)

 

For more information, contact:

·         Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association:   Kent Stirling, Executive Director (305) 628-2989 or khs0813@bellsouth.net

·         Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association and Florida Quarter Horse Breeders’ and Owners’ Association:  Dr. Steve Fisch, DVM (850) 510-9650 or sfischDVM@avsequinehospital.com

·         Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners Association:  Dr. Phil Matthews, President at phil@matthewsoffice.net

 

www.UnitedFloridaHorsemen.org

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About unitedfloridahorsemen

The United Florida Horsemen, comprises the organizations listed below, and represents the interests of Florida's horsemen and horse racing industry to Regulators, the Florida Legislature, Public Policy Makers and the community at large. • National and Florida Barrel Horse Association (24,000 members) • American Quarter Horse Association (350,000 national members; 7,163 Florida members) • Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association (439 members) • U.S. Trotting Association (25,000 members) • Florida Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association (630 members) • Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association (1,300 members) • National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (35,000 members) • Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (5,000 members)
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