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Committee appointed to study the California Sire Stakes
Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - from CHHA

The California Harness Horsemen’s Association (CHHA) will endeavor to improve the flagging California Sire Stakes program, and as a first step towards that end has circulated the following memo, signed by Association president Ben Kenney:

“Now that several of our most current challenges are approaching resolution we need to focus our collective energy on our most important long-term asset -- the California Sire Stakes program. No other program can and will have as much impact on our future in California. Over the past decade we have seen consistent erosion in both purses and racing opportunities for the California Standardbred. The loss of the Gold Series and the reduction in Sire Stakes purses are clear signals of impending disaster. I do not know how we can expect our states breeders to continue to operate in this environment. We need to make it better.

“I am confident that, working together, we can build a solid future for Cal-Breds. It will require the cooperation of our breeders, owners, trainers, and racing management to accomplish this task. As your president and with the support of the CHHA Board, I have named a new Sire Stakes Committee and charged them with several specific tasks:
“First, to develop a report detailing the past five years of Sire Stakes funding, production, and expenses so that we can all see the significant trends.
“Second, to develop a five-year forecast outlining the future potential for Sire Stakes purses and racing opportunities.
“Last, but not least, we will survey all of our breeders and other key players to develop a list of recommendations and a strategy for the future.
“In order to accomplish these tasks and provide a report back to our Board in June, I have named the following members to the Committee: Vickie Desomer, Jim Perez, Stephen Chambers, and Alan Kirschenbaum. I will also serve as a member and work closely with the Sire Stakes Committee administrator, Wayne Knittle, to accomplish these important tasks.

“The Committee will be conducting an extensive survey in early May, and I hope you respond. We will keep you apprised of our progress and I thank you in advance for your support.”