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
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
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
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