Kansas Grassroots Efforts

Kansas works to revive live racing.

Q-Racing Journal

Kansas horsemen are working to revive racing in the state.

Kansas horsemen are trying to garner support to get live racing back in the Sunflower State.

Members of the legislative committee of the Kansas Quarter Horse Racing Association hosted a meeting during the Bank of America Challenge Championships at Prairie Meadows to discuss ideas. Among those attending were Kansas horsemen and industry leaders such as Butch Wise and OQHRA Executive Director Debbie Schauf.

“We’re very appreciative of those people that came to help us develop our plan,” said AQHA director and Kansas resident Paul Treadwell. “We needed some new input and a new way of doing it.”

The brainstorming session brought forth some fresh ideas for the state, which is struggling to regain live racing. Kansas ran its most recent live races in 2009, when it hosted 16 race days, 58 races and 241 starters, with $620,807 in purses, $593,817 in added money and handled $201,152.

“We’re really not that far off,” Treadwell said. “We were only off by a couple votes last year, the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse folks were pretty much in agreement.”

Among the ideas was funding through a special stallion program and plans for the next few months.

After voting on November 1, KQRHA plans to hire a lobbyist and host a grassroots meeting for all interested horsemen. The meeting will likely take place in early December.

“It has all changed over the years,” Treadwell said. “We’re going to try to get everybody, new and old, on board, and hope they will come to the meeting. We want to bring racing back to Kansas, which is a big deal for Quarter Horse racing.”

Last year, Kansas had 77 breeders of starters and 102 owners of starters that resided in the state. There were 269 horses that made starts during the year whose breeders called Kansas home, and 236 horses whose owners resided in the state. There were 153 horses that were foaled in Kansas. This was a 31 percent drop in breeders and a 22 percent drop in owners, compared to 2009, the most recent year of live racing.

For more information on the grass roots meeting to be held in December, contact Paul Treadwell at ptracing@cox.net.

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