The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

February 6, 2013

Rick Teverbaugh: Horse racing needs support

Horse racing in Indiana dodged a bullet a year ago, but will it be so lucky when the one toting the gun is Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Pence’s proposed budget is calling for an end to all standardbred and thoroughbred subsidies. That would mean the loss of about $50 million to the horse racing industry.

It would completely stunt the growth of that industry in a time when very few industries in this state are showing any growth. It would hurt Anderson’s economy and stature across the country. Neither of those things bothers Pence in the slightest.

In an Indianapolis Star story, his spokeswoman Christy Denault said there was better use for the money. I am not convinced.

The horse racing industry spreads jobs across the state, not just in Anderson and Shelbyville. Some can be found in off-track betting facilities. But there are many more.

Many horsemen have established permanent residence in Indiana once the slot machines were added at Indiana Downs and Hoosier Park. At those training facilities, employees had to be hired. The horses need food and bedding, so farmers in many locations have more customers for their products. The horses have need of medical attention and treatment, so veterinarians need to be hired.

The loss of these subsidies threatens all of those jobs and more. Apparently, those people don’t matter to Pence, either.

Jack Kieninger, president of the Indiana Standardbred Association, told the national publication, Harness Racing Update, “Whenever we have a budget cycle, we’re worried. The state needs the money, and they need every penny they can get and they would love to take it away from the horsemen.

“Although we employ just as many people as the factory that builds cars, since we are scattered all over the place, the impact is not as obvious to people. You can look and see the factory; you can’t look and see that there are 20,000 horsemen raising horses in Indiana.”

The horse racing industry would be on better financial footing if the state hadn’t charged about twice as much to Indiana Downs and Hoosier Park for a license to have slot machines as has ever been charged by a state for those machines. But they paid it with the promise that the subsidies would help them recoup that money. Now Pence wants to renege on that deal.

It isn’t fair, and it shouldn’t happen.

Those who feel the same way should contact their state legislators and let them know. If we do nothing, soon Hoosier Park will be no more important to Anderson than Delco Remy and Guide Lamp now. Hundreds of our neighbors will be out of work, and we will lose one viable entertainment option. It is a bleak but accurate forecast.

Indiana’s horse racing industry deserves a chance to recover from the unreasonable burden placed upon it by state government. It doesn’t deserve a knife placed at its throat, which is the current status.

Sports Editor Rick Teverbaugh’s columns appear twice weekly.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0418 - PHHS vs Alex - 017 Arabians hold off Alex to reach semifinals Good teams don't need much help. That didn't stop Pendleton Heights from accepting a little aid from Alexandria in the second round of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament on Thursday.

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Panthers claw way into softball semis If only Elwood's Jessie Noone had missed the team bus, Thursday's game in the Madison County Softball Tournament would have been more competitive.

    April 17, 2014

  • Ravens drove Manchester to avoid sweep NORTH MANCHESTER — The Anderson University baseball team defeated Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference leader Manchester University 9-5 on Wednesday at Gratz Field. Andrew Eiler led the Raven offense with three hits, three runs and an RBI, including one of four home runs the visitors hit.

    April 17, 2014

  • Elwood, Liberty Christian advance in county softball tournament The 2014 Madison County Softball tournament got off to a wild start at Liberty Christian on Wednesday night as Elwood and the host Liberty Christian Lions advanced with victories.

    April 17, 2014

  • SPT - HB0417 - Nick Muller - 05 Bulldogs, Indians impress in openers Lapel and Anderson have very different histories in the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • SPT - HB0417 - Pendleton v Mad Grant 2 Eagles, Arabians move to second round Frankton got off to an uneven start, falling behind 4-3 and 6-4, but rallied for a 14-6 triumph over Alexandria in the first round of the Madison County Softball Tournament here Wednesday. In the second contest, Pendleton Heights topped Madison-Grant 2-1 in a game where both runs and hits were at a premium.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rick Bramwell: Improving weather should aid morels When I looked at my wilted daffodils Tuesday morning, I knew this would be a setback for morels. The long-range forecast through April 29 calls for near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. This is good news for the blacks and grays.

    April 16, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: Hunter-Reay's blunder proves costly A lack of patience cost Ryan Hunter-Reay and teammate James Hinchcliffe a chance at victory last weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Long Beach.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0416 - tennis file - 14 Many girls tennis teams return top talent With spring sports getting off to a good start thanks to some spring-like weather last week, local girls tennis teams are taking to the court.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wild week will get later start The busiest week on Madison County's high school sports calendar is going to start a day later than expected.

    April 14, 2014