Texas Horse Racing Receives Huge Benefit From 2020 Legislation

Arabian breed interests will work with Thoroughbred organizations for a share of the revenue

12 January 2020, Texas, USA ~ In June 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbot signed legislation that will benefit the Texas horse racing industry.

House Bill 2463/Senate Bill 1991 is a purse matching bill that would take a portion of the money collected by the state on the taxable sale of horse products and will use the funds to create an incentive fund that would increase purses to bring quality race horses and breeding operations back to Texas. Proponents of the bill, which creates no new taxes, say it will make Texas racing regionally competitive again.

2019 Texas wagers reached a staggering low

According to a study prepared for racing industry consultants by TXP Inc. in Austin, Texas –  in the early 2000 bettors in Texas wagered $900 million and horse breeders and owners enjoyed $32.5 million in purse money. In 2019, those number had dropped to $340 million wagered at Texas tracks and the owners took home purses of $16.8 million.

The study contends that a state contribution of up to $25 million a year in purse money would not only boost track revenues but would, by 2022, double the current direct impact on the overall Texas economy to $154.6 million.

Texas breeders excited about the bonus

Texas breeder, Jon Henningsgard, Arabian Racing Cup Chief Steward said: “The program is now up and going. The Texas accredited money for the Arabians will more than double this year. That should encourage more Texas breeders to breed and produce, but I believe it will also have the same effect on other breeders around the country because the purse money has gone up by about 60% as well. The Arabians are guaranteed at least two races a week and can run almost year ’round now in Texas. Dates: 10 January – 28 March at Sam Houston, 25 July – 10 September at Retama Park, and finish at Lone Star from 13 September to 28 November.”

Henningsgard added that racing participants should register their foals with the Arabian Racing Cup as that is added money. “It’s a great time for Arabian racing so breed, register and run,” he concluded.

Texas Breeder Rita DeLeon said: “The new tax program is already working! From the horse related sales taxes, racing has received a great benefit. For (racing) Arabians, it has given us many more races, two per week, and higher purses. This is evident in our first condition book for Sam Houston Race Park and our first two races there this weekend. Our purses range from $8,900 to $12,000 for overnights, and added money for the stakes.

New legislation will benefit the Texas racing industry by 25 Million

In July of 2019, representatives of the Texas Horsemen’s Association, Inc. (Quarter Horse and Paint), the Texas Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Inc. (Thoroughbred and Arabian), the Texas Quarter Horse Association and the Texas Thoroughbred Association met and came to a unanimous agreement on how to split up the money.

As of now, all monies will be split equally (50/50) between Quarter Horse interests and Thoroughbred interests. The fund is anticipated to generate $25 million annually; therefore, if fully funded, Quarter Horse interests will receive $12.5 million ( 70% can be allocated to purse money) and Thoroughbred interests will receive $12.5 million each year.
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