Horse Racing Montana – Bad News for Horse Racing
The financial monopoly of Mather and Company has driven a nail in to Flathead Horse Racing. The County Board, after much controversy, has unanimously voted to drop all 2006 horse racing events at the Northwest Montana Fair. The huge increase in insurance for jockeys has killed the sport for thousands for enthusiastic spectators. It will deprive owners, jockeys, bookmakers and punters to follow their vocations and interests, and will hurt other stakeholders such as breeders in the long run.
Horse racing is a notable contributor to government exchequers, and the County will lose as a result of its decision as well. This impasse could have been avoided in more than one way: Mather’s monopoly should have been broken to allow others to quote, jockeys could have been approached to contribute a little to the sharply increased insurance bills and catering at the race track could have brought in additional revenues. Satellite coverage for online betting could have raked in truck loads of cash to meet the avaricious demands of Mather and Co!
The silver lining is that horse racing may return to Flathead in 2007. There is not a day to lose, and planning for insurance cost management, as well as a comprehensive proposal to make a profit from the operation, are pressing orders of the day. Horse racing has a passionate following in Montana, and it is such a shame that a few influential entities can simply take the simple pleasures of the sport off the table.