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Monday, February 15, 2016

Bills recently introduced in the Florida Senate and House of Representatives would, if passed, allow pari-mutuel facilities to end live racing but maintain gaming operations.

Bills recently introduced in the Florida Senate and House of Representatives would, if passed, allow pari-mutuel facilities to end live racing but maintain gaming operations.

While many greyhound tracks in Florida support those measures, horsemen have re-stated their adamant opposition.

In particular, the United Florida Horsemen, which was formed last year specifically to oppose any effort to remove live-racing mandates in legislation, have reiterated that position. As reported in Blood-Horse, on Feb. 5, the group said there is “confusion” over total decoupling, partial decoupling or decoupling for only dog racing. Therefore, it re-emphasized its “total opposition to any and all decoupling.”

In other words, Florida horsemen are concerned that if the decoupling camel gets its head under the tent, it’s one big step closer to jeopardizing all types of live racing in the state.

The United Florida Horsemen members are the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association, Florida Quarter Horse Breeders’ and Owners’ Association, Florida Standardbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association, National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, American Quarter Horse Association, United States Trotting Association, Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association, and Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.