Texas Racing Commission Prepares for Shutdown

Executive director Chuck Trout has sent a memo to the industry's stakeholders preparing for the March 1 shutdown.

Texas Racing Commission

The Texas Racing Commission is preparing for a shutdown.

Texas Racing Commission executive director Chuck Trout has sent the following memo -- dated January 13, 2016 -- to the state's industry stakeholders, including the Texas Horsemen's Partnership, Texas Quarter Horse Association, and all racetracks:

"At the Texas Racing Commission meeting on December 15, 2015, Chairman Pablos instructed me to develop a plan for closing the agency in the event that the Legislative Budget Board does not provide appropriations to fund the agency beyond February 2016," Trout wrote.

"As part of that planning process, I have reviewed the racing schedule and the  requirements for the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory to complete  drug test processing," he added. "In order to hold as few purses as possible in limbo after  closure, I have determined that, absent further appropriations authority, all racing must end no later than midnight on February 16, 2016. This includes both live and simulcast racing. This schedule will also allow agency staff to pay any outstanding invoices to vendors, to consolidate and safeguard the agency's equipment and materials, and to coordinate with other state agencies for the subsequent disposition by the State of the agency's resources."

Sam Houston Race Park opens its winter Thoroughbred meet tonight. There is currently no American Quarter Horse racing scheduled in Texas until March 25, when Sam Houston is scheduled to open its 24-night season.

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