The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


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.

Text Only
  • SPT - HB0725 - Newsome - JC - 1 Former BSU star Newsome ready to prove his worth Jonathan Newsome knows what it feels like to be a spectator at the Indianapolis Colts' training camp. He spent one day in each of the past two summers watching practice alongside his Ball State teammates. It was a chance for the Cardinals to do a little bonding and get a sense of what it takes to be a pro. When the first public practice of 2014 begins today at 1:50 p.m., Newsome — a fifth-round pick in May's draft — will be on the other side of the fence as a rookie outside linebacker earning his stripes.|ANDERSON — Jonathan Newsome knows what it feels like to be a spectator at the Indianapolis Colts' training camp. He spent one day in each of the past two summers watching practice alongside his Ball State teammates. It was a chance for the Cardinals

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0725 - Getting healthy - JC - 3 Colts getting healthy as training camp opens Reggie Wayne's arrival Wednesday in an IndyCar driven by two-time Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter Ed Carpenter drew national attention. But the most important news coming out of reporting day for the Indianapolis Colts concerned the wide receiver's health.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • HB0724 _ Teverbaugh mug Rick Teverbaugh: Finding Anderson no mystery for Luck

    Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck might find sleep hard to come by the night before training camp opens, but finding his way to Anderson is no source of anxiety.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • bramwell mug Rick Bramwell: Poison ivy not a problem any more

    "Never have a serious poison ivy rash again" came across my email. This is such a problem for so many people. Could this be true?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0723 - Pagano art Colts' 'monster' now preparing to 'hunt'

    There's a different kind of buzz surrounding the Indianapolis Colts as they prepare to report for training camp today at Anderson University. Expectations have been high inside the locker room since Chuck Pagano arrived in January 2012 and promised shortly thereafter to "Build the Monster." Two 11-win seasons and one playoff victory later, the mantra has changed.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ken de la Bastide: Plenty of story lines for Brickyard Before the winner of this Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway gets the chance to kiss the bricks, media members will be complaining about the race.

    July 23, 2014

  • SPT - HB0722 - Luck Dungy art George Bremer: Five favorite memories of Colts camp I thought, as a kind of primer before Wednesday's main event, I'd celebrate the fifth straight summer of the Colts at AU by sharing my five favorite memories of training camp so far.

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • SPT - HB0722 - Stuckey art Pacers face uphill battle after signing Stuckey Last week, the Indiana Pacers lost Lance Stephenson. On Monday, they replaced one of the NBA's best young players with shooting guard Rodney Stuckey.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marcum claims Late Model win Morristown driver Jeff Marcum has watched victories in the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models slip away this season, but that changed Saturday at Anderson Speedway.

    July 20, 2014

  • SPT-HB0720-HoosierParkart3.JPG Miller leads Champion Driver Series

    When the format was announced for Hoosier Park’s initial Champion Driver Series, it was thought that getting either the fifth or sixth pick in every race but never first or second might be a huge disadvantage. Lewayne Miller proved otherwise.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Latest Sports Photos

Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News