On Thursday, Jon Moss treated students in the Race Track Industry Program to an impromptu visit and discussion. Mr. Moss is an RTIP alum, and he currently holds the position of Executive Director of the Iowa HBPA. In addition to his time in Iowa, Mr. Moss has worked with the Pennsylvania HBPA. He spoke to Liz Bracken’s ACBS 442 – Racing Business, Strategies & Global Perspectives class about the role of horsemen organizations and briefly touched on the topic of racinos.
When it comes to HBPAs, they are as diverse as the backgrounds of the horsemen that comprise them. Mr. Moss pointed out that members come from all walks of life, but while diversity is a positive asset it can also lead to some struggles when it comes to getting new programs started. Medication rules are one such example. Iowa has adopted the National Uniform Medication Program, but Moss explained that getting everyone on board took about three years. He was quick to point out that, there are also issues on which everyone stands in agreement. After-care for the equine athlete is an issue that has horsemen unified.
Mr. Moss also spent some time discussing racinos. He explained that some HBPAs were initially against coupling racetracks and casinos. The fear was that racing is labor and capital dependent, and with the possibility of becoming a financial burden, casinos would want to get rid of their racetracks. Moss wrapped up his discussion by stating that while he was in Pennsylvania the real struggle was with the state. In Pennsylvania, every casino puts money into the Horse Racing Development Fund, but every year the HBPA had to fight the state to keep purse money.