Horse owners argue the racing commission is not working in the best interests of the sport ”Albuquerque Journal
An organization that represents thousands of racehorse owners, breeders and trainers across New Mexico is challenging regulators in a state district court over a recent decision to change the way some stock market winnings are distributed.
The decision of the State Racing Commission to stop the collection of fees that fund the medical expenses of riders and their employees and legislative lobbying efforts are also at issue.
The New Mexico Riders Association argues in recent court cases that commissioners are taking away much of the group’s funding by banning members from contributing 1% of their race earnings to the association and ending the contribution start-up costs which also finance medical costs. that the costs that go to the advocacy efforts.
The association said the commission passed the changes without notice and the riders were not given a chance to testify before the commission.
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The group argues that the commissioners made the changes in retaliation for its opposition to the use of stock market money to cover the costs of operating the state’s five private runways. According to the group, more than 8 million dollars were diverted from the exchanges to the rails for certain operating expenses, in particular to purchase insurance.
The group also criticized the commission for canceling some races and shortening others and have long demanded good tracks and safe, clean rears, which include stable areas.
A motion tabled this week by the association says the commission sees riders as “a thorn in the side” rather than a partner who has stood up for horse owners by protecting purse money and race dates. .
“Let there be no mistake,” the motion said. “This is a fight to save horse racing in New Mexico and if this commission wins, horse racing will unfortunately deteriorate to the point of being a side spectacle in existing casinos only to help casinos out. retain their license and prevent the pueblos and Indian nations from claiming a violation of the Indian gambling pacts.
The commission did not immediately comment on the ongoing litigation.
In a letter sent in May to association lawyer Gary Mitchell, commission counsel wrote that the decision to suspend contributions to the association from scholarship earnings was not made at slightly but that it will result in an addition of about $ 700,000 per year to the scholarship money.
The riders’ most recent motion argues that the commission has no control over the money riders earn after races are over, tests run and purses are released.
“The money belongs to the riders and they use it as they see fit,” argued the association, saying the membership fee system has been in place since the 1960s.
Horse owners take legal action against NM panel