Comments from Horse Owners

Read the comments of horsemen who have already been affected by the exodus of Texas dollars and horses leaving our great state. If you would like to share your personal story, you can do so on the petition page.

 

  • As more and more horse owners leave, it has more and more effect on how services and the costs for those services are impacted for those of us who remain. I have frequently heard a horseman say that it would not be long before he would be forced to relocate to a more horse-friendly state. Pretty hard to believe in Texas! I am a life-long horse lover and owner, with a small ranch in North Texas where I raise quarter horses.Richard Bullwinkle, Pilot Point
  • Not only are the dollars leaving Texas, but as recreational riders, we are getting pushed out of state parks and no new trails are being planned for equestrian sport. Barbara Schmidt, Houston
  • Two Race Programs that I work with run only in Louisanna and bred and foal mares in that state for the state programs Sonny Weakley , Corsicana
  •  I am a full time horseman and it is my sole source of income. Being a Texas Horseman it is extremely frustrating for me to see other states offering huge incentives for their state bred programs which hurts or markets here. The great state of Texas should be in the forefront of these lucrative programs as the horse industry and horse economy is so large here. We should be leading the way and not taking up the rear.
    Shane Plummer, Fort Worth
  • I am an equine exclusive veterinarian, working in the breeding area. If the horse industry continues to fade the way it has in the past few years, we are going to lose our biggest asset and I will lose what I have been working for for 15 years.  Semira Mancill, Fort Worth
  • We have been raising and racing horses for 27 years in Texas and have had to run and breed in OKLA. in order to compete for the purses to be able to continue to survive. This takes the breeding fees, farm and board bills, veterinary costs out of Texas. The domino effect hurts feed stores, farmers, trainers and their employees.             Dan Jones, Kemp Texas
  • I tried to build up a horse breeding and training farm here in Central Texas and at one time had 24 horses here. Due to the horse economy here in Texas over the last 2 years I have had to sell or give away most of my horses at a great loss. I am now down to 5 well bred horses and there is no market. The Texas horse money needs a boost is any of us are to survive. Chris Johnsen, Temple Texas
  • I breed thoroughbreds and running paints. I will not race my horses in Texas, because there is no money in it. My horses go to NM and La. Sherry Hahn, Corpus Christi, Texas
  • I am formerly from Texas. I moved to Oklahoma because of the VLT’s, additional purse money in the state bred programs. I would really like to get back to Texas, but will not do so until the changes are passed. I will support this measure and be glad to move home. My ranch in Oklahoma generates about $400,000 of horse business each year, through breeding, sales of oklahoma bred race horses and also the barrel racing industries… I really want to be in Texas. J. Hales, Madill, Oklahoma
  • I believe its a shame that our representatives are putting the economy of neighboring states above that of Texas. I think its a no brainer to support keeping Texas money in Texas. S. Futschik, Houston, Texas
  • We are fools if we do not counter the bordering states with our own gaming. Our money and best horses are crossing our borders in search of better financial rewards. Texas is dumb if this is let to continue unchecked. We need a level playing field not a bail out……yet.B. Pawley, Hilltop Lakes, TX
  • I definitely do not want to see Texas lose horses or money to other states. I am just 14 yrs. old and my future needs to stay here in TX, but if other states support a better horse industry who knows where my parents and I will end up. We ride about 60 head of horses here, if they all move out that is alot of horses from one place leaving TX.  J. Donnelly, Aubrey, TX.
  • We race horses in Texas and live here as well. We have had to take stables to OKC to make up for what we are losing just being in Texas. We lose money racing here, even if we win. A. Buchanan, Peaster, Texas.
  • I am involved in two cutting horse affiliates. I have watched the decline over the past couple years. The effects of the overall economy couples with bigger horse benefits in other states have just crushed attendance at these events. We have the people, the horses, and the expertise, but the money is not here anymore. The horse industry needs help so it can help Texas! J. Lowe, Livingston, TX
  • I train and show my own horse, I don’t have the money to go and train with a trainer and I save every dollar I can so I can go and show at some shows but there is nothing anymore around. Everything is out of state to where I can not afford to go and show. S. Saltzman, Savoy, TX
  • I own several Arabian race horses. The purses offered by the Texas tracks are a lot less than other states. With the cost of feeding, training maintaining my horses going up it is hardly worth it to race for these purses. M.L. Orrick, San Antonio, TX
  • Our farm spends almost $500,000.00 out of state every year to breed and foal our mares because of Breeders Awards and better purses out of state at the tracks. We would like for our money to stay here. If I could save that kind of money every year. I would easily be able to hire 4 to 5 more employees. H. Maikranz, Rochelle, Texas
  • I was away from horses for about 20 years and in 2006 had the the opportunity to start an equine therapy and riding program at the school and residential facility I run for adults with special needs. We use horses to teach life skills, work ethic and responsibility. All of our horses in the program are donated by Texans; with Texans getting out of the horse business it affects non-profit organizations and many special people. J. Lay, Austin, Texas
  • I am a graduating veterinarian who is going to work for an equine sports medicine practice. I am a native Texan and would love to raise my young daughter in my beloved state. However, my future practice is closely tied to the racing industry, and Texas racing has fallen so far behind our neighboring states that I will be mostly practicing in New Mexico and Oklahoma. It is a shame that Texas taxpayers have spent so much money helping pay for my education, and it is not financially feasible for me to stay in the state and repay their generosity. C. McCook, Bryan, Texas.
  • As an owner with interests in several horses and a racing fan, I am ashamed that our great state is letting the industry slip away. Several of my horses are Louisiana-bred. Why? Because it’s tough to make ends meet out of state not to mention here in Texas. W. Smith, Arlington, Texas
  • I have moved my breeding and racing horses to Oklahoma because the purses are better because of VLTs at the racetracks. J. Dronet, Denison, Texas
  • I am a thoroughbred racehorse trainer and love living in Texas. My husband and I own a little farm south of Fort Worth in Covington, where we usually have horses boarded for post surgery care and rest or broodmare care. We are currently stabled and racing out of state, in Louisiana, so that we can make a living doing what we love. We don’t get to enjoy our home because we have to race out of state to pay for it and right now we have no horses on the farm to generate any income because the Texas horse owners are breeding their horses out of state as well. If we can not make a living in Texas then we will be forced to sell our home and move away. I miss racing in Texas! I miss our home!! M. Lovell, Covington, Texas
  • Our horses race on the East Coast, our mare resides in Louisiana, because Texas cannot offer what we need to stay in the industry. C. Wagner, Lockhart, Texas
  • I am going to get out of the business because we cannot afford to send our mares out of state and it doesn’t pay to be in Texas. C. Bessent, San Saba, Texas
  • We are slowly phasing out the breeding aspect of our business. We just do not have the money to continue funding the costs of breeding and raising Texas-bred horses. We have mixed emotions when a foal we bred and sold races out of state. S. Hanover, Hearne, Texas
  • My husband and I had a few mares and racing stock but after the purses dropped we were forced to give up the breeding and gave away all our mares. We now race in other states. We can not go back but we would love to see racing come back to the Lone Star State. S. Burns, Leesburg, Texas
  • We own and train thoroughbred racehorses. Two years ago, I sold my Texas Accredited broodmares and stallion because the breeder incentives are now so small in the State of Texas versus the State of Oklahoma and Louisiana. C. Haverkamp, Gainesville, Texas
  • I have been writing letters for 5 years to Senators and Representative in my area with no response from any of them….I hope we can get this done.. This is the first year we are skipping breeding our Texas Bred Mares for fear of the closings of Texas racetracks. S. Horton, Justin, Texas
  • I enjoy gambling and travel several times a year out of state to do so. I would much rather spend my dollars in Texas. S. Buford, La Feria, Texas
  • Please let’s keep the money in Texas. Every time I go to Delta the parking lot is full of cars that have TX plates. This could be extra money for our children education. It also could help with taxes and our roads. H. Lato, Cypress, Texas
  • I am a competitive trail and endurance rider. When I started in the sport I had many Texas rides to choose from, now I have to travel out of state to Oklahoma for many rides as there are less in Texas now. A. Martin, Brookshire, Texas
  • I’m just a small business that is based on the horse industry. In particular I’m concerned about the lack of equestrian trails for recreational riding and the lack of good venues for regional shows. K. Ford, Georgetown, Texas
  • Texas is losing money and horses to border states that allow slots in racetracks. When I take my horses to run out of state for the bigger purses all I see at the casinos is nothing but Texas plates. J. Alcaraz, Eagle Pass, Texas
  • It is unacceptable that any other state other than Texas be looked to as a leader in any horse event. M.S. Byrd, Stockdale, Texas
  • Youth statewide could greatly benefit from an incentive program promoting the starving horse industry in Texas. M. Hoffman, Bryan, Texas
  • Although I no longer own horses, I still love them and spend time with the horses that are in rescue and those owned by my friends. I support those dollars in Texas. Texans are quality horse people, we owe them our support. G. Justice, Waxahachie, Texas
  • For the first time in my life, last year I had to take my Texas bred horses to Louisiana just to try and pay my expenses. I’m a Texan and my horses or Texas bred. This year I will be breeding my broodmare in Louisiana. R. Metcalf, Rose Hill, Texas
  • I left Texas ten years ago, because Oklahoma passed their VLT bill; I was losing so much money racing in Texas because there are no purses. I hated to leave this great state, but admit the Oklahoma program as been great. J. Hales, Madill, Okla.
  • My wife and I have raced in Texas for the last 12 years, but we can no longer afford to race in Texas. We keep all of our racing stock (and broodmares) in Oklahoma. The difference in purses is too much to pass up, with all other fees being equal. When the difference in purses is three times I can’t figure how anyone can still run horses there. B. Williams, Walla Walla, Wash
  • We would like to move to Texas, except without the casinos for the racing purses, we have decided to move to Oklahoma instead. This could change if Texas changes. They have many of the best mares in the nation but under the current status buying a Texas-red is a real negative. M. Grisham, Bismarck, Missouri
  • I just returned from a casino trip to LA, I counted license plates in the garage when we were parking & saw 8 of every 10 cars are Texas plates. That’s fuel, food, and hotels, shopping, all Texas money going to another state. Makes no sense at all. D. Volker, Elgin, TX
  • I have 5 racehorses and I have to travel to receive the best opportunities for my horses. I would love to be able to compete for better purses in Texas and to help my dollars to be spent on Texas. It’s a shame that all that money and benefits help other states. J. Russell, Collinsville, Texas
  • It is so costly to provide top-quality venues that reward competitors and the organizers need to be supported all the way up to the state level.  I have to believe that if competition prizes were larger, there would be more competitors entering events.  Those prizes come from sponsors who put their money where it’s the most visible.  Hopefully, our elected officials won’t turn Texas into the invisible horse state! D.  Alley, Weatherford, Texas


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