Texas HORSE Foaled in Austin

Rockin by Choice with Paul Hansma.
Photo by Stacy Pigott, Editor, Cutting Horse Chatter Magazine

Six Prominent Texas Horse Associations
Ban together to form "Texas Horse"
AUSTIN—Texas Horse Organizations for Racing, Showing and Eventing (Texas HORSE) became a formal entity on July 7th with the signing of articles of association by representatives of six racing breed and performance horse organizations.

The six organizations presently comprising Texas HORSE are the American Quarter Horse Association, American Paint Horse Association, National Cutting Horse Association, Texas Arabian Breeders Association, Texas Quarter Horse Association and Texas Thoroughbred Association.

The purpose of the new organization is to utilize the resources of all participating organizations and their members to present a united front in the legislative effort.

Texas HORSE’s objective is to keep Texas money in Texas to help educate Texas children, enhance health care, provide good roads, address other needs in Texas and stop the exodus of Texas horses and horsemen.

The mission of Texas HORSE is to pass legislation to allow additional forms of legal gaming at the 13 licensed racetracks in Texas, which will create a significant revenue stream to the total horse industry in the state and provide Texas horsemen with the ability to compete on a level playing field with surrounding states that already benefit from having alternative forms of gaming.

The performance side of the Texas horse industry, represented by Texas-based AQHA, APHA and NCHA in the new organization, has particular interest in the proposed legislation because of the provision of a revenue stream from alternative gaming to a new Performance Horse Development Fund. Texas will be the first state to utilize revenue from alternative gaming for a much broader segment of the horse industry. PHDF will direct a specified amount of dollars to non-racing performance horse activities such as cutting, reining, barrel racing, team roping, Western pleasure, rodeo, trail rides and eventing.

Jim Helzer, representing AQHA as its incoming president, was elected as the first president of Texas HORSE. Dr. Jacquelyn Rich, beginning her second term as TTA president, was elected vice president and Bronc Willoughby, who recently ascended to the presidency of NCHA, was elected secretary-treasurer.

Each member of Texas HORSE has a designated representative on the board of directors with Helzer and Dr. Rich representing their respective associations along with Lex Smurthwaite (APHA), Jeff Hooper (NCHA), Ed Wilson (TABA), Dr. Tommy Hays (TQHA) and Dr. Robert Lewis as director at large.

Commenting on the formation of Texas HORSE, Helzer said, “It is time to put Texas horses and Texas horsemen out in front of this legislative effort. Passage of the bill being supported will have a tremendous positive impact on the agricultural economy and on rural development in Texas. The new revenue will touch each and every horse owner and propel the entire horse industry in Texas to greater levels than ever before experienced.”

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