AUSTIN – I am extremely disappointed that the Texas Racing Commission failed to repeal historical racing. Previously, a state district court judge ruled historical racing rules adopted by the commission exceeded the commission’s authority granted to them by the Texas Legislature. Members of the legislature also expressed their opposition in a letter to the commission stating they did not have the authority to enact this rule.
It was my hope that today would be the beginning to finding a solution to resolving this issue for the long term benefit of the equine industry in Texas. Instead, irresponsible members of the industry have politicized this issue and resorted to false, personal attacks.
Recently, the governor appointed three members to the commission. Two of those members voted to repeal historical racing and one did not. In addition, the previous commission chair resigned his chairmanship after he said he could not serve at the pleasure of the governor, staying on the commission but also voting not to repeal. As recently as August, this same member voted to repeal, but today defied the governor.
It is disturbing that a few members of the Texas Racing Commission who refuse to follow the ruling of the judiciary, the clear guidance of the Texas Legislature or directive from the governor have chosen to jeopardize this industry. I look forward to working with responsible members of the equine industry moving forward.
As recently reported by the Fort Worth Star Telegram, if horse racing comes to an end in Texas it will be the fault of a few members of the commission and their supporters in the horse industry – not the fault of the governor, the lieutenant governor or the legislature.