To be an eligible voter in the upcoming election you dues must be current by September 1, 2016 if you are a regular member. You will also be eligible to vote if you are an owner or a trainer and started a horse at an Oklahoma racetrack during the past year. You must have started at the 2015 Will Rogers Downs meet or the 2016 Remington Park or Fair Meadows meets to be eligible to vote, and you must not have opted out of representation by OQHRA.
WILL ROGERS DOWNS: The condition book for Will Rogers should be out shortly. We have been getting lots of calls on when the book will be out and they are trying to get it out as soon as possible. The ZERO date for Will Rogers this year will be August 31st and the first entry day is September 2nd for the 350 yard Black Gold Championship trials. The track renovations are completed on the main track and first reports are that the track is in very good condition. The overnight purse levels for Quarter Horses has been increased by about $750 for the meet, and the P&A purses are the same as they were in 2015.
The one thing everyone will notice is a reduction in this years OKB purses at WRD for QH, because they will be offered at the same level as the P&A OKB purses for 2016. This reduction is due to an internal accounting error by the OHRC OKB department. The OKB accounts were recently audited and during that time it was discovered that the Quarter Horses and Paint and Appaloosa's had been overpaid a significant amount of money over the past few years. The largest part of the overpayment was at Remington Park but as the audits are being reviewed there are actually errors in the reporting for a number of years and for meets at every Oklahoma racetrack. In concert with the OHRC, the OQHRA board has voted approve a plan to recoup and repay the overpayments in an expedited manner by increasing the contributions to the Oklahoma Breeding Development Fund for Quarter Horses, Paints, and Appaloosas over the next 6 to 10 months, and decreasing the level of OKB purse supplements and awards at the 2016 meet at Will Rogers Downs and the 2017 meet at Remington Park. The full extent of the revisions at Remington Park has not yet been determined but will be discussed at a special board meeting yet to be scheduled for September 2016. Realistically it is impossible to go back to every owner and breeder that was overpaid and collect back the money due to the fund, so this was the most feasible way to repay the overpayment. Based on the plan approved, by the fall meet at WRD in 2017 the levels will return to normal, as will the 2018 levels offered at Remington Park.
CONGRATULATIONS TO OQHRA SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS FOR 2016: Every year the OQHRA budgets money to provide scholarship opportunities to young people who are involved in the horse industry that are seeking a college degree or some form of higher education. Additionally, OQHRA choses one or two young people to receive scholarships from the Mike Hickman Memorial Scholarship Fund. This year, the board approved $1000 each for eight great young people that submitted applications The recipients are: Shianne Andrews (daughter of Tony and Shari Andrews of Purcell), Taylor VanBebber (daughter of Janet VanBebber of Purcell), Brady Benjamin (son of Jolain Chapman of Edmond), Karlee Wortham (daughter of Jeff and Angie Dean of Coweta), Blayke Haggard ( son of Robin and Brent Haggard of Gans), Kiby Lance Estein ( son of Tamatha and Steven Medley of Inola), Jerimy L Carney (son of Kelly Lankfard and Jeff Carney of Blanchard), Ryley Lawson (daughter of David and Beth Lawson of Newcastle), and Blake Lee (son of Randy and Bonnie Lee of Edmond).
Although I anticipate setting a special meeting date in September, the next regular OQHRA board meeting will be October 18th. Please don't forget that Will Rogers opens on September 10th with a full day of Black Gold Trials. OQHRA will be at the upcoming yearling sales in Ruidoso over Labor Day Weekend, and at the Heritage Yearling sale in September in OKC. Stop by our booth and say hello.