During the past year, the FHBPA has reached out to our members outside of the South Florida area. I have been asked to come and address current issues with horsemen in the Ocala area on three separate occasions over the last several months. On each occasion, several of the FHBPA Board’s Directors have also volunteered to give their time and drive to Ocala to participate.
Each time I visited, I was amazed at the large number of horsemen that attended the meetings seeking information and asking questions. I have quickly come to realize that the FHBPA has a very large contingent of members outside of the Miami area that need to be embraced.
Although the Ocala area is known internationally as a breeding center, it is also a hotbed of horse ownership and training. Many of the breeding farms are also training centers with direct ties to South Florida racing. Income from boarding and training is a critical revenue stream to most Ocala farms.
Horsemen are usually not just an Owner, Trainer or Breeder. They are a combination of two and many times all three. Each of these facets are like the three legs of a stool. It is critical that all three work together – if one fails, they all fail.
The FHBPA stands ready to be the organization that listens. We invite and encourage all horsemen to contact us with suggestions, opinions and concerns. A phone call will not be ignored. You do not need an appointment to see us. Our Board Meetings are open and our elections are all inclusive.
We have a critical Legislative session coming again next spring and decoupling will be back on the menu. It is crucial that everyone understands the potential dangers that come with decoupling. There is a lot of misinformation that has been circulated about decoupling.
We also are continuing to focus on issues such as Worker’s Compensation, Medication and the demolition of Calder.
FHBPA has an election for Directorship coming up in a few months and we encourage potential candidates to run. I plan to visit Ocala again before the Legislative session to keep the Central Florida Horsemen in the loop.
We are here to help.
Bill White – FHBPA President