THE NMHA BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2017 AT THE HORSEMEN'S MAIN OFFICE IN ALBUQUERQUE.   THIS IS A RECAP OF THE MEETING.  

THE BOARD VOTED TO AMEND THE NMHA BYLAWS TO PERMIT ELECTRONIC VOTING FOR TRACK COMMITTEE MEMBERS.  THIS WILL BEGIN WITH THE OWNERS WHO WILL STAND FOR ELECTION AT SUNLAND PARK.  THE PURPOSE OF THE CHANGE TO THE BYLAWS IS TO INCREASE PARTICIPTION FROM OUR VALUED MEMBERSHIP. 

THIS VOTING SEASON EACH LICENSED OWNER OR TRAINER SHALL BE ALLOWED TO VOTE ONCE  FOR UP TO 4 CANDIDATES TO SERVE AS OWNERS ON THE SUNLAND PARK TRACK COMMITTEE.   VERY SHORTLY WE WILL BE PUBLISHING THE PROCEDURE WHICH IS TO BE FOLLOWED IN ORDER TO VOTE ELECTRONICALLY BY EMAIL..  

VOTING BY FAX AND IN PERSON WILL STILL TAKE PLACE.


HAIR TESTING FOR ALL HORSES THAT PARTICIPATE IN STAKES, FUTURITIES, HANDICAPS, DERBIES AND TRIALS WAS DISCUSSED.   CURRENTLY HAIR TESTING PRIMARILY AFFECTS QUARTERHORSES, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT RUN IN FUTURITY TRIALS, DERBY TRIALS, MATURITIES AND THE FINALS.   THE BOARD FEELS THAT THOROUGHBREDS SHOULD BE TESTED AS WELL, ESPECIALLY THOSE HORSES THAT COME INTO THE STATE TO RACE IN HANDICAPS AND STAKES FROM OTHER STATES WERE CLENBUTEROL USE IS ALLOWED.  MANY OF THESE HORSES THAT COME IN TO  RACE COME FROM STATES THAT ALLOW FOR THE USE OF CLENBUTEROL IN RACING HORSES  ACCORDING TO A SET LIMIT.  IN NEW MEXICO,  NO SUCH USE  IS ALLOWED AS NO LIMIT EXISTS.   THERE IS A SENTIMENT THAT THESE HORSES SHOULD BE HAIR TESTED TO ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE NOT BEEN DOSED WITH CLENBUTEROL DURING THE PERIOD OF TIME THAT THE HAIR TEST COVERS (USUALLY 6 MONTHS).   THIS WOULD ENSURE A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD BETWEEN HORSES COMING FROM OUTSIDE OF NEW MEXICO TO RACE  AND THOSE THAT ARE BASED IN NEW MEXICO. 


THE NMHA IS ALSO LOOKING AT WHETHER HAIR TESTING IS A VIABLE METHOD FOR TESTING FOR PAST USE OF CLENBUTEROL, CLASS 1 SUBSTANCES AND ANABOLIC STEROIDS  AT ALL.   STUDIES DONE BY PROMINENT SCIENTISTS HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED  THAT POINT TO SCIENTIFIC FLAWS IN THE TESTING OF HAIR.   


ALTERNATIVE WAYS FOR FUNDING WORKER'S COMPENSATION FOR  OWNERS AND TRAINERS WAS DISCUSSED.   AT THE JANUARY, 2018 MEETING THERE WILL BE DISCUSSION ON HOW  TO MAKE THE REQUIRED WORKER'S COMP INSURANCE MORE AFFORDABLE.  AT PRESENT VERY FEW OF OUR OWNERS AND TRAINERS HAVE PARTICIPATED BY PURCHASING WORKER'S COMP INSURANCE.   WORKER'S COMP INSURANCE IS MANDATORY FOR ALL TRAINERS WHO HAVE 3 OR MORE EMPLOYEES COUNTING THEMSELVES BUT A HUGE GAP EXISTS BETWEEN THOSE WHO HAVE IT AND THOSE WHO DON'T.    (REMEMBER, A GALLOP BOY COUNTS AS AN EMPLOYEE WHETHER HE IS YOUR EMPLOYEE OR A FREE-LANCER WHO COMES BY YOUR BARN TO GALLOP A COUPLE OF HORSES. )


THE HORSEMEN OBJECTED TO SUNLAND PARK'S DECISION TO INCLUDE A TESTING FEE OF $100 IN ITS NOMINATION BLANKS FOR ITS 5 MAJOR QH RACES THIS COMING SEASON.   THE TESTING FEE WOULD BE USED TO TEST FINALISTS AND THE ALSO ELIGIBLES.  THE OBJECTION IS THAT TESTING IS THE JOB OF THE NMRC. 

LASTLY, THE NMHA BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE RACING COMMISSION THE FACT THAT A NUMBER OF OUT OF STATE HORSES WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR CLENBUTEROL AND THAT WERE NOT ALLOWED TO RUN IN THE FINALS OF THE AA AND AA DERBY, AND RETURNED HOME,  HAVE NOT BEEN CLEARED TO RACE AGAIN.  NEW MEXICO RULE IS THAT SUCH HORSES WITH POSITIVE HAIR TESTS ARE PLACED ON THE STEWARD'S LIST FOR 60 DAYS AND CANNOT RUN UNTIL THEY TEST NEGATIVE.   UNFORTUNATELY, THERE IS NO PROCEDURE FOR HORSES BASED IN TEXAS TO TEST OFF THE STEWARD'S LIST WITHOUT RETURNING TO NEW MEXICO FOR A RETEST.  ANOTHER CONCERN IS THAT A NEGATIVE TEST IS DEPENDENT ON WHEN THE HORSE RECEIVED CLENBUTEROL.  IF IT WAS GIVEN CLENBUTEROL SAY 14 DAYS BEFORE A RACE, (IT WOULD CLEAR MOST LIKELY POST RACE URINE OR BLOOD PLASMA TESTS)  IT MAY BE UP TO 6 MONTHS BEFORE A HAIR PULL IS DECLARED NEGATIVE.     


FINALLY,   THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS UPON US.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL,   GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE ZIA CUP PARTICIPANTS WHO RACE TOMORROW, THE 22ND AT HOBBS, NM,   HERE'S TO CLEAN, SAFE AND GREAT RACING.


SINCERELY,   PAT BINGHAM