June 9th Racing Commission Meeting Minutes

Virginia Racing Commission


Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Virginia State Capitol House Room 1 1000 Bank Street Richmond, Virginia 23219

Commission Members In Attendance:

  • J. Sargeant Reynolds, Jr.
  • Chairman D.G. Van Clief, Jr.
  • Vice Chairman Carol G. Dawson I.
  • Clinton Miller Charles Steger, PhD

Commission Staff:

  • Bernard J. Hettel, Executive Secretary
  • Rich Harden, Equine Medical Director
  • Courtney C. Reid, Program Support Technician Office of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Sam Towell, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Reynolds at 12:41PM; all of the Commission members were present. The first agenda item was the continued discussion of the designation of a majority Horsemens group for both the Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds. After discussion, it was decided that criteria for defining a horsemen, will include, any owner or trainer that started a horse or maintained 1 or more horse(s) in training in Virginia the last three years. There was extensive discussion about the electoral process of board members for both Horsemens groups. The Commissioners requested for the process to be explained in writing as a part of the groups review for the APA hearings. The APA hearings for recognizing the majority Horsemens groups and the industry nonprofit stakeholder will be at the next Racing Commission meeting on July 1st, 2015.

The next agenda item was discussion of the industry nonprofit stakeholder. Jeb Hannum, Executive Director of the VEA, informed the group he as working to deliver the requested documentation for his group and is in preparation for the July 1st hearing. He also updated the group on potential racing sites throughout the Commonwealth. The Committee assignments were put on the table for a later meeting.

Bernard Hettel, Executive Secretary, informed the Commission of discussions he has had with ADW companies seeking possible expansion of participation in the Commonwealth. A review of Administrative Regulations to include current statutes will be done by VRC staff and the Attorney General’s Office; changes will be presented at a future Commission meeting. Several members of the public made comment, including Tom Eshelman from the Shenandoah County Fair; Mr. Eshelman reported on the success of the Wine and Trotter Festival on June 6th and his hopes to get pari-mutuel racing at the site in the near future.

The working session was adjourned at 2:20 p.m.