Board Meeting Minutes – April 16, 2015

MHHA Board of Directors Meeting

April 16, 2015

Lennon Cafe, Lennon, MI


Present:  T. Barrett, D. Bolenbaugh, K. Crawford, B. Gira, K. Goodwin, D. Hartsook, M. Sweeney, G. West

Absent:  A. Bennett, E. Engle, S. Oldford, C. Serra, P. Stommen

Associates:  L. Franks, L. Julian, V. Vail-Shirey

Guests:  W. Beagle, J. Goodyear, P. Howard,  D. Timperley


Moment of silence was observed in memory of Doris Niccum.

A motion to approve the minutes of the March, 2015 meeting was made by Sweeney, seconded by Bolenbaugh.  Motion passed unanimously.

Legislative Update – Julian reported on Ag Day at the Capitol.  The turnout was less than previous years.  He has had conversations with Senators Shirkey and Robertson.  A Mission statement, in support of live racing, has been prepared by the horsemen’s associations and agreed upon by the group. The Equine Liability Bill is moving to second reading of bills today was opposed by Hazel Park.  It should be voted on Tuesday (4/21) of next week.

Legal Update – Barrett reported on the April 15th hearing on the cost of the writ.  We anticipated a final amount, that didn’t happen.  Judge asked that each side bring in expert witnesses to substantiate their claims in terms of amount owed.   We have made an offer of $7,500, no response yet.

Northville Meet Update – The Northville meet shifts on 4/29 to racing on Wed & Thurs.  The average live daily handle is $43,000.  Northville is doing things to try to bring people in such as a concert on Derby Day.

Colt Stakes Update – Bolenbaugh reported on meeting with the MDA about the possibility of opening up futurities to Michigan Bred horses. Sweeney presented a preliminary schedule for the fairs. There is a conflict with Croswell dates  so we are looking at moving their dates to September at either  Hastings or Fowlerville.   Stommen will be sending Croswell a letter that we don’t support racing in June. Regarding futurities, we are going to be transitioning to Early Closers for the Wolverine, Spartan and Breeders.   Motion by Bolenbaugh to discontinue nominating payments for the Spartan, Wolverine & Breeders Stakes and make those Early Closers beginning with two year olds in 2016 (foals of 2014) seconded by Crawford.  The motion passed unanimously.  The Michigan Sire Stake is a separate line item and will remain as a yearling nominating payment followed by sustaining payments as two year old and three year olds.

Committee Reports – Barrett and Serra will present the Treasurer’s Report next month.

New Business – Late Closers – Sweeney reported that the two events that didn’t fill this month, the Race Secretary said she would go with 9 entries as long as there are 8 separate betting interests.

Old Business – Barrett reported that the Jackson LLC is working on final release.  Hope to have it wrapped up in the next week or two.

Scholarship – Franks reported that the mail deadline was 4/15.   Will approach R. Niccum to see if he’ll chair the committee and process the scholarship applications.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 19 at the Lennon Cafe.

Motion to adjourn was made by Crawford, seconded by Sweeney.  Motion passed unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.