Dozens Of Texas Horses Dead; Cause Unclear

Dozens of horses have died in Texas and the cause is still unclear. The horses lived in Wichita and surrounding counties. Wichita County Agricultural Extension Agent David Graf is investigating the deaths and thus far has found no definitive cause. Officials are still investigating and hope to gain a better understanding of what happened to the horses.

Graf suggested that kleingrass toxicity may be to blame; though kleingrass is a good grazing forage for livestock, it can damage the liver and cause death in horses, sheep and goats. Kleingrass was found in a bale of hay on a deceased horse’s farm. Two other horses were treated for liver failure. However, samples from other deceased horses showed low toxicity, meaning kleingrass may not be responsible for all of the deaths.

In coming weeks, officials from Texas A&M and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will inspect the fields where the horses had lived in hopes of finding more clues. The investigation is ongoing.

Read more at KFDX-TV.

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Texas Governor’s Order Allows Simulcasting, Live Racing With Fans To Begin May 22

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order no. GA-23, issued this Monday, will allow for the reopening of the state’s simulcast racing on May 22. The order, relating to the expanded opening of Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster, states that facilities may “operate at up to 25 percent of the total sited occupancy of the establishment.”

At 9 p.m. ET Monday, Lone Star Park has not made an official announcement regarding whether or not it is prepared to begin live racing on the 22nd, this coming Friday.

Executive Order No. GA-23, reads, in part:

“Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 22, 2020, for all Texas counties except Deaf Smith, El Paso, Moore, Potter, and Randall counties:

D. Bowling alleys, bingo halls, simulcast racing to the extent authorized by state law, and skating rinks that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the establishment; provided, however, that (i) bowling alleys must ensure at least six feet of social distancing between operating lanes; and (ii) components of the establishments that have video arcades must remain closed.
E. Rodeos and equestrian events that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy or, for outdoor areas, at up to 25 percent of the normal operating limits as determined by the facility owner; provided, however, that this authorizes only the rodeo or equestrian event and not larger gatherings, such as county fairs, in which such an event may be held.”

Read Paulick Report Article

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Lone Star Stable Area Will Open May 4; New Protocols To Be Announced

On April 28, the Lone Star Park Racing Department sent out the following notice regarding the reopening of the stable area:

Dear Horsemen,

We are happy to let you know that Lone Star Park will be able to start accepting horses into our stable area on Monday, May 4 beginning at 6:00 am.

During this initial stage of opening up we will only accept horses between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm so please plan accordingly.

Masks or face coverings will be required for all people in the common areas of the stable area, basically this means any area outside of your dorm room. So please be prepared to have masks or face coverings to use. Also all people in the stable area must follow social distancing guidelines at all times. And please note that the stable area is limited to essential personnel only. There are no guests allowed.

The racing office will reopen on Friday, May 1. But note that the racing office will operate under strict social distancing guidelines. Meaning the door will remain locked and business will be conducted only over the phone. Foal papers and any other documents can be dropped off using the mail slot which is to the right of our lobby entrance door.

The stall man will start on Monday and we ask that you respect social distancing guidelines when dealing with him. His office will be open but we ask that you do not enter the office but instead interact with him from the doorway.

There will be many other new procedures, restrictions and announcements to come over the coming days.

Please visit the horsemen’s information section of our web site (lonestarpark.com) for further information and please let us know if you have any questions. Our email address is racing@lonestarpark.com. Our phone numbers are (972) 237-1130 or (888) 4RACING. Thanks for racing with us.

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Lone Star Park Postpones Stakes, Hopes to Reopen in May

Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, informed horsemen April 16 in a letter distributed on social media by the Texas Thoroughbred Association that “we still hope to be able to open the stable area and race meet sometime in May.”

Its spring/summer meet, which was to begin Thursday, has been indefinitely delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The season runs through July 19.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has expressed a desire for a gradual reopening of the state following restrictions issued to slow the spread of the virus.

Nearly 17,000 Texans have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in more than 400 deaths. Dallas County, where Lone Star Park is located, has more than 2,000 cases and 50 deaths from the virus.

Both the Bluebonnet Stakes, which had been set for opening day at Lone Star Park, and the Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (G3), originally planned for April 26, have been postponed and will be rescheduled “after we have a better idea of when opening day will be,” said the Lone Star letter attributed to the track’s racing department.

There has been no Thoroughbred racing in Texas since Sam Houston Race Park in Houston concluded its meet prematurely after racing concluded March 21 and after conducting racing for approximately a week without spectators. Sam Houston also canceled its entire Quarter Horse meet.

The TTA reported that due to the reduction in simulcast and on-track wagering, recent incentive awards for breeders, owners, and stallions were lower than usual.

Texas is one of a select number of states in which online betting for horse racing is prohibited by state law.

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Consignor Incentive Program Announced for Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale

(Austin, Texas – April 16, 2020) – The Texas Thoroughbred Association is pleased to announce a consignor incentive program for the August 24 Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale at Lone Star Park. Thanks to the passage of H.B. 2463, which injects up to $25 million annually into the Texas horse industry, funds are available to rebate up to half of the $400 consignment fee for all horses passing through the ring, including horses not bred in Texas. Entries are due by June 15.

 

A similar incentive was previously announced for the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. That auction was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all consignment fees were refunded. Instead of a live auction, horses entered in that sale are currently being showcased on the TTA Sales website with potential buyers being able to connect directly with consignors to negotiate private sales with no additional fees.

 

The Texas Summer Yearling Sale has traditionally included a mixed session for broodmares and weanlings, but for this year’s auction only, that format will change to a horses of racing age session focused on 2-year-olds. If there is sufficient demand, an under tack show may be added prior to the sale.

 

“We know that these are challenging times for horsemen, so in order to adapt to the current situation we rolled over the consignment incentive to this sale and changed the format to give consignors an option for selling 2-year-olds and other horses of racing age,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “We had a record number of entries for the 2-year-old sale, so we expect to have strong participation in this sale as well. We are truly thankful for all the consignors and buyers that have helped make this such an important sale for the Southwest region.”

 

For more information about the sale, go to www.ttasales.com.

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Texas Summer Yearling Sale Adds Horses of Racing Age Session

(April 8, 2020 – Austin, Texas) – The Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park have announced that the upcoming Texas Summer Yearling Sale on August 24 will now include a horses of racing age session in lieu of having broodmares and weanlings. For this year only, the mixed session will only be open to 2-year-olds and older horses of racing age. The change is due to the cancellation of the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, which could not be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“After talking to consignors, we found there was strong demand for a horses of racing age session, especially for 2-year-olds,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “We realize these are unique times for consignors and buyers, so we are working to support them by being flexible with the format of this sale. For any 2-year-olds who have published works, we will include those on the sale website along with any videos that consignors wish to provide. And if we have enough demand for an under tack show, we will work to make that happen prior to the sale.”

 

The entry deadline for the sale is June 15, and consignment contracts are being mailed soon. More information, along with a downloadable consignment contract, is available at www.ttasales.com.

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Texas Summer Yearling Sale Set for August 24 at Lone Star Park

(Austin, Texas – March 5, 2020) – This year’s Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale has been set for Monday, August 24, at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie. This will mark the fifth renewal of the auction held jointly by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park. The entry deadline is June 15.

“We have a record number of entries for the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale on April 3, and we anticipate added interest in this auction thanks to all the positive things going on with Texas racing,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA.

Up to $25 million annually is being pumped into the Texas horse industry thanks to legislation passed last year, and purses at the current Sam Houston Race Park meet and upcoming Lone Star Park meet are at their highest levels in many years.

“With the enhanced purses at Texas tracks and added incentives for accredited Texas-breds, the Southwest region has never been stronger,” added Tim Boyce, sales director. “In addition to an added number of horses, we anticipate an increase in quality just like we saw with the consignments for the 2-year-old sale.”

For more information, go to www.ttasales.com.

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Record Number of Entries in Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, New Incentives Announced

The Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park are pleased to announce a record number of consignments to the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. A total of 182 head, pending the addition of supplements, have been entered in the sale set for Friday, April 3, at 12 noon at Lone Star. The under tack show will be held Wednesday, April 1, at 10 a.m. at the track.

This year’s head count is up nearly 35 percent from last year’s 135 (including supplements) and more than double the number in the 2016 sale, which was the first held jointly by the TTA and Lone Star.

“We expected to have more entries after the passage of beneficial legislation in Texas last year, but we were a little surprised by just how much interest there’s been from both consignors and buyers,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “We are excited about the two incentive programs related to this sale and the overall increase in purses in Texas and incentives for Accredited Texas-breds.”

The passage of H.B. 2463 is expected to inject up to $25 million annually into the Texas horse industry, and its effect is already being seen with increased purses in 2020 for the current Sam Houston Race Park meet and upcoming Lone Star meet.

In addition, money generated by H.B. 2463 is being used to provide a rebate of up to one-half of the entry fee to consignors at this sale. Plus, all graduates of this sale will be eligible for a new purse incentive program for all races this year at Texas tracks. The incentive is available for all graduates, regardless of where they were bred.

As always, sale graduates will be eligible for the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity this summer at Lone Star with divisions for fillies and colts/geldings offering purses of $100,000-estimated apiece.

The list of nationally prominent stallions in the sale is far more extensive than in recent years, including Animal Kingdom, Bodemeister, Candy Ride, Fusaichi Pegasus, Goldencents, Kitten’s Joy, Maclean’s Music, Overanalyze, Palace, Tapiture and Uncle Mo.

This year’s catalog includes offspring of many of the Southwest’s leading and emerging stallions, including Astrology, Bradester, Court Vision, Custom for Carlos, Early Flyer, Flat Out, Half Ours and Too Much Bling.

For more information and the online catalog, including photos and videos after the under tack show, go to ttasales.com.

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Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale Set for March 31

The 2020 Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 31, at Lone Star Park. The breeze show will be held at the Dallas-area track on Sunday, March 29. The auction is a joint venture by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park. 

“Our yearling and mixed sale at Lone Star Park in August had gross sales and average prices both jumping by more than 20 percent, and we expect that momentum to continue into the 2-year-old sale,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “The Southwest area has been strong for many years, and now with this very important legislation recently passed to boost the industry in Texas the region will get even stronger.” 

Sale graduates will be eligible for the 2020 Texas Thoroughbred Futurity to be run in divisions for fillies and colts/geldings at Lone Star in July. The estimated purse for each division is $100,000. 

“With new legislation passed to enhance purse money at Texas tracks and funds for the Accredited Texas-bred program, there is a lot of optimism for 2020 and beyond,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association. “We’ve already noticed an uptick in interest as breeding season approaches, so that bodes well for the future of Texas racing and breeding.”

The entry deadline for the sale is January 15, 2020, and consignment contracts and more information is available at www.ttasales.com.

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Amber Doege Joins TTA as Accreditation Manager and Racing Coordinator

The Texas Thoroughbred Association is pleased to announce the hiring of Amber Doege as Accreditation Manager and Racing Coordinator. Doege is replacing Jennifer Gibbs, who is retiring later this year after 20 years of service at the Lone Star State’s largest breed organization.

Doege, whose father, Glenn, was a longtime trainer based in Texas, brings nearly 20 years of experience in the industry. Her previous positions in horse racing include assistant racing secretary, stakes coordinator, horse identifier, paddock judge, placing judge and claims clerk at tracks around the region such as Retama Park, Lone Star Park, Delta Downs and Fair Grounds. Doege earned a bachelor’s degree at Texas State University with a major in animal science.

Doege’s responsibilities will cover the Accredited Texas-bred program, Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes and Texas Thoroughbred Futurity as well as the two Thoroughbred sales held jointly by the TTA and Lone Star Park.

“I’m very excited to be joining the TTA team,” said Doege. “I know that I have big shoes to fill but Jennifer has spared no effort to make sure this transition is smooth.”

“I know I speak for countless TTA members in saying that we will miss the knowledge and passion that Jennifer brought to the position for many years, but we are also thrilled to welcome Amber to the team,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “She brings a wide range of experience in the industry, and she’ll do a great job serving our membership, especially now with an increase in purses and Accredited Texas-bred program funds thanks to the recent passage of legislation.”

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