In Florida, the quarter horse and thoroughbred horsemen formed a coalition to fight the abuse of quarter horse permits which apparently were handed out willy nilly at one time, and resulted in the establishment of pari-mutuel barrel racing in Gretna, Florida. You can follow this coalition via floridahorsemen.com.
I could not help but note nowhere was there reference to the Florida standardbred horsemen being part of this coalition which surprised me greatly. After all, with quarter horse permits available and having been distributed around the state, you would think the FSBOA would be interested in joining the battle against the abuse of quarter horse permits as placed in the right counties, card rooms and slot machines can be sprouting up around Pompano Park with some kind of pseudo-racing such as barel racing ins conducted in Gretna, impacting the bottom line for horsemen and Isle of Capri alike.
I attempted to reach out the the FSBOA for their reasoning in not joining with the quarter horse and thoroughbred horsemen and received no response back. Right now the members of the coalition are showing up to legislative subcommittees to offer testimony based on the running breeds, but there is no official representation of the standardbred industry to make their case. Maybe there are lobbyists up at Tallahassee doing work for the FSBOA, but without getting the standardbred industry views in these hearings is there any wonder why in the past, legislation passed curtailed or was indifferent to the standardbred industry?
Not being part of this coalition may be a big mistake for the standardbred horsemen. When they are further marginalized in the Sunshine State, they will have nobody to blame but themselves for if the FSBOA is not going to speak up for the industry, who is?