The Virginia Gold Cup Association has joined with the Virginia Thoroughbred Association, the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, and the Virginia Harness Horse Association to form the Virginia Equine Alliance, Inc. The Alliance includes all Virginia horsemen and its goal is to grow Virginia’s racing industry by creating a program that will benefit Virginia horsemen and the Commonwealth.
The Virginia Equine Alliance, a non-profit organization, has a new vision for racing in Virginia where associated charities are given the opportunity to raise funds through their participation on race days that VEA has organized. All net revenue of the VEA will be directed back into the industry.
The VEA’s interim board consists of Dr. William Allison with the Virginia Gold Cup, David Ross with VHBPA, Wayne Chatfield-Taylor with VTA and R.C. Dunavant, DVM with VHHA. The current Executive Director of VTA, Debbie Easter, has been named interim president of VEA and John (Jeb) Hannum has been named interim executive director.
Over the next weeks and months, the Alliance will specifically address:
Legislative Action—The VEA will work with the Commission, General Assembly and the Governor’s office to update the racing statute to create more racing opportunities and to establish a development fund to grow the sport. VEA plans to have their legislative agenda completed by the beginning of December.
2015 Racing—The VEA would like to create as many racing opportunities as possible for 2015 by exploring the feasibility of new venues for flat and harness races. The VEA plans to publish a limited race day schedule in early 2015. To date, representatives from the horsemen and breeders have visited numerous sites to explore the possibility of race meets in the future.
Regional meetings—The VEA will host a number of regional meetings with horsemen to update them on VEA’s plans and to garner feedback.