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FL Horsepeople To Address Politicians

Published: February 9, 2016 12:07 pm ET

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United Florida Horsemen officials will be on hand in Tallahassee Tuesday (Feb. 9) to represent racehorse owners, trainers and breeders at two legislative committees scheduled to take up gambling-related bills that could devastate Florida's horse racing industry by allowing 'decoupling.'

The Florida House of Representatives' Regulatory Affairs Committee meets today at 11:30 a.m. (EST), followed by the Florida Senate Regulated Industries Committee which meets at 1:30 p.m.

To access meeting materials for each, click below:

House Regulatory Affairs Meeting Packet (Updated)
Senate Regulated Industries Meeting Packet

To watch the hearings via live webcast, go to, or click here for the House video and click here for the Senate video.

• For links to House Bill analysis, click here
• For links to Senate Bill analysis, click here and here

Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse and Standardbred officials in attendance today include:

  • Bill White, president of Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (Thoroughbred owners and trainers)

  • Steve Fisch, executive director of the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association (AQHA) and Florida Quarter Horse Breeders and Owners Association

  • Joe Pennacchio, president of the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association

Horsepeople expect legislators to consider a casino-driven proposal of a decoupled ‘purse pool’ arrangement that would essentially create an artificial sheltered set-aside, rather than the current free market that lets states compete against one another for horse racing business – meaning the best horses, owners, trainers, jockeys and drivers. The proposal would let casino-owned pari-mutuel permit holders – not market forces – dictate how Florida's horse racing investors and small businesses recoup their return, instead of through a dependable schedule of live racing days and market-driven competitive purses.

(United Florida Horsemen)

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