The members of the committee want to reach out to our membership to keep you updated on our process. We realize that this COVID-19 shutdown has affected all horsemen differently, and we don’t want to assume we know each member’s hardships. We have had many lengthy discussions about how to help our members beyond the payments already being made. We want to remind you that each week of a shutdown brings another $25,000 payment to keep the backstretch open. At this time, we have concluded that there is no one-size-fits-all benefit. The Board has a fiduciary responsibility to maintain the integrity of our accounts and to ensure that there is a healthy purse account to fund racing as we come out the other end of this pandemic. We can’t assume that the casinos will be operational at full capacity in the near future and that directly affects our purse account. We are already facing the potential for purse reductions until the funding reaches pre-COVID numbers. If we choose to dole out the funds now, without forethought, we risk having nothing to race for in the future.
Although that sounds dire, we want to provide some information and hope. The Meadows’ Chaplaincy program and Pastor Joe are there for all Meadows horsemen in their times of need. If you find yourself in a situation where you need help paying your bills or buying necessities, please contact Pastor Joe. There is currently a fund-raising bike raffle for this very program to raise money to help our fellow horsemen. If you can afford it, buy a couple of tickets. If you can’t, know that the fund will be there for you. If for some reason you are unable to talk to Pastor Joe, feel free to reach out to members of this Committee or any MSOA Board member. We all have contacts and ideas for providing relief where needed.
We ask that members contact your board members with any suggestions or questions. We are continuing to have at least weekly meetings and we will continue to monitor the situation.
We are all in this together, but hopefully we will all be racing against each other soon!