Florida QHRA Issues Update on Hialeah Park Situation

The letter was issued by FQHRA president Ron Smith.

Florida QHRA

The Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association has represented horsemen at the Hialeah Park Quarter Horse meet since 2009.

The Florida Quarter Horse Racing Asssociation has issued the following letter, signed by FQHRA president Ron Smith, to its membership:

"The hearing concerning the recognition of South Florida Quarter Horse Association as the group representing the majority of the horsemen racing at Hialeah was finally heard last Tuesday and Wednesday before Judge Lawrence P Stevenson. SFQHA is a one member group that was incorporated on March 14, 2016, the afternoon before the slots and card room licenses were released for the 2016/2017 fiscal year. Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association, the horsemen’s group that has represented the horsemen since 2009 and in over $30 million in purse contracts, challenged that recognition of SFQHA by the Florida DBPR/PMW.

"We were able to fully lay out the pertinent facts of our case and the next step will be to begin working on laying out our legal position and objections in more detail in the post-hearing submittals to the judge. The transcripts have 10 days post hearing to be compiled and the attorneys have 15 days after that to submit their briefs to the judge. Judge Stevenson should give his decision within 30 days of receiving the briefs. Therefore the final decision should be heard sometime in December, 2016.

"Butch Wise, AQHA Executive (Committee) member and FQHRA director, along with Bill White, FHBPA President, and Steve Fisch, DVM FQHRA member and director testified on behalf of FQHRA. As President of the FQHRA, I was in attendance at the hearing.

"We look forward to hearing Judge Stevenson’s decision so we can get on with the business of providing quality racing opportunities for our members and providing the economic engine that the breeding and racing industry provides to the state of Florida in both taxes and spin off industries such as truck and trailer sales, construction projects, farriers, trainers, CPA’s, veterinarians, feed sales and many other industries that support AQHA and TB breeding and racing.

"With a favorable decision, our next step would be to work on the racing dates for this fiscal year (ends June 30) and to get the contract signed that FQHRA and AQHA presented to Hialeah in September 2015. We feel there is no doubt FQHRA represents the majority of the horsemen who race at Hialeah. This situation and decision will affect the entire racing industry across the country.

"Thank you for your continued patience and support while FQHRA works through this obstacle for you."

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqharacing.com.