The Indiana Standardbred Association (ISA) board met for their first meeting of 2024 Monday, Jan. 8, welcoming three new members. Chad Clark, John Merkel and Joe Essig Jr. joined the group for the first time as new board members.
First on the agenda was to elect the Executive Board. All positions stayed the same as the previous year with John DeLong elected for his second term as President, Robert Taylor serving as First Vice President, Doug Rideout as Second Vice President, Emily Dever as Secretary, and Matt Rheinheimer as Treasurer. Taylor ran the meeting with John DeLong, who was racing in Ohio, on the phone during the meeting.
DeLong gave an update on several aspects of current negotiations and items for the ISA. He noted recent talks about the status of the purses for next year, contract negotiations with Harrah’s Hoosier Park, and proposed plans for investments from the racetrack funds. Proposed upgrades include new water heaters in the barn area and potential upgrades to the wash stalls in the paddock. DeLong noted a test booster on one of the current water heaters in the barn seems to be working well and might be a possibility for implementation, which would save money if used for the installation.
The ISA Board also went through all committees and assigned chairs as well as members of those committees.
Adam Kallick, who serves as liaison for legislative issues, noted Representative Bob Cherry has submitted Bill 1147 into the current session under Horsemen Matters and Race Tracks. The bill, which has verbiage for the horsemen as well as some rule modifications for the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, has been assigned to Public Policy. Kallick noted Cherry issued the bill to protect the horsemen and the industry in the state.
Dr. Alan White commended Executive Director Tony Renz on a recent report showing a recap of 2023. He suggested the report be created for the public in 2024.
The meeting ended with a change for the next meeting. Due to racing being conducted in Ohio on Mondays, the board voted to move the next meeting to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9 at the ISA Office in Greenfield.