The THP Asks The NTRA About Current Projects That Affect Horsemen

Sometimes it is obvious how the racetracks benefit from the NTRA's efforts, but less obvious how horsemen do. Thus, horsemen often ask the question, "What is the NTRA doing for me?"

The NTRA recently answered that question for the THP by explaining some of its current efforts that will directly and indirectly improve conditions for horsemen throughout North America:

THP: What is the NTRA doing to build attendance and handle?
NTRA: For 2001, we have expanded our programs to put fans in the stands, starting with the NTRA Racing Experience, our $1 million mobile marketing truck. Since the start of the year, the truck has hit more than 15 events and seven states (beginning with the National HBPA Winter Convention in San Antonio that was hosted by the THP). To date, we've captured over 6,000 names through on-board registration programs and will continue to communicate with these new fans about upcoming races and special promotions that will bring them out to the races.

We are also reaching out to fans through a new e-newsletter. Participating tracks provide local stories, news or statistics and the NTRA provides national news, handicapping links, television schedules and information on upcoming promotions and contests. Fans receive the monthly e-newsletters free and can request them for as many different tracks as they like by registering online at The e-newsletter is meant to build attendance by letting fans know about events at their local racetracks.

One of our major promotions, the $1 million Mystery Mutuel Voucher, is set for July 28. We're mailing mutuel vouchers to 1.2 million fans and every ticket's a winner, worth at least $2 on up to the $1 million grand prize. Fans who receive the tickets must redeem them July 28 at participating racetracks and OTBs. We're also planning another voucher mailing in late autumn. Last year's event resulted in double-digit increases in attendance and handle at nearly every participating site.

THP: What's new on the legislative front?
NTRA: There is an immediate threat to horsemen posed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA's proposed changes to the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations regarding Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Effluent Limitations Guidelines apply to large animal facilities and may affect racetracks, farms and racing stables.

The proposed changes are intended to reduce the amount of water pollution from large livestock operations, including those containing horses, and could result in dramatic increases in horsemen's cost of doing business.

Any large horse facility operator should review the proposal and seek competent advice to determine the potential impact of the proposed changes on its operation.

Horsemen can review the proposal in the January 12 Federal Register at v.66, no.9, pages 2959-3145, or online at

The American Horse Council and the NTRA have established a Task Force to formulate a unified position on this issue and submit comments to EPA. Contact Ben Haggin at the NTRA, (800) 792-6872, ext. 6880, or e-mail for more information.

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