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ANNUAL REPORT OF THE BRITISH COLUMBIA RACING COMMISSION FOR 1977 British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1978

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 ANNUAL REPORT
OF THE
BRITISH COLUMBIA
RACING COMMISSION
FOR
1977
BRITISH
COLUMBIA
HON. GARDE B. GARDOM, Q.C.
ATTORNEY-GENERAL
OF THE PROVINCE OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA
R. BRUCE HARVEY
CHAIRMAN OF THE
BRITISH COLUMBIA
RACING COMMISSION
MINISTRY OF THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL
  To Colonel the Honourable Walter S. Owen, Q.C, LL.D.,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province oj British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour:
The undersigned has the honour to present the Annual Report of the British
Columbia Racing Commission for 1977.
GARDE B. GARDOM
A ttorney-General
Victoria, B.C., January 1978.
  PERSONNEL OF COMMISSION
The Commission, during 1977, consisted of:
Chairman—R. Brace Harvey.
Commissioners—
Reverend Desmond Kimmitt.
J. R. C. (Jack) Short.
Commissioner-Secretary—Robert E. Collis.
Commission Staff
Thoroughbred Racing Stewards—
W. D. F. (Don) Dunn.
Joseph L. Horton.
Standardbred Racing Judge—Brian M. V. Middleton.
Veterinarians—
Dr. Alan D. Purvis, D.V.M.
Dr. Gordon Davis, D.V.M.
Stenographer/Office Supervisor—Mrs. Glenna Perkins.
Chief Investigator—Joseph Shepherd.
Investigators—
Kenneth A. F. Yarker.
Wilfred E. Denty.
Robert J. Anderson.
Licensing Supervisor—Mrs. Mary-Lou Annal.
Clerk-Typists—
Miss Marjorie Lasnier.
Miss Tracey Blain.
  Annual Report of the
British Columbia Racing Commission
The Honourable Garde B. Gardom, Q.C,
Attorney-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir: The Racing Commission supervised all horse-racing in the Province in
1977, upon which pari mutuel betting was permitted. This racing, thoroughbred,
standardbred, and quarter-horse, was presented before 1,312,442 patrons who
wagered $115,437,693.
The purse money paid to all horsemen totalled $5,727,196 and the Provincial
Government received $8,080,639 under the Pari Mutuel Betting Tax Act.
The Commission is pleased that it supervises a rapidly expanding sport. A
brief comparison demonstrates the extent of this growth. Five years ago, in 1972,
the total number of days of horse-racing within the year was 107, with a gross
wagering of $39,446,053. In 1977 the number of days totalled 259 with wagering
of the aforementioned figure of $115,437,693.
However, these increases bring in their wake a number of issues which require
the continuing attention of your Commission.
A. The more rapidly expanding segment of the sport in British Columbia is
the standardbred. The Commission is most pleased that harness racing, which
was for many years in the doldrums in this Province, is now both well established
and achieving an increasing excellence in the quality of the racing being presented.
At the same time, the expansion in the area of the thoroughbred has been much
more modest, merely keeping pace with the inflationary increase in the total economy.
Your Commission cannot escape the conclusion that there are only so many
dollars available for wagering; and that the advent of year-round racing in British
Columbia and, an even more significant factor, the immense sums of money now
received into lotteries, are making the market for the gambling dollar a highly
competitive one.
It is in this realization that your Commission has a recommendation before
the Government for a decrease in the percentage received by the Province under
the Pari Mutuel Betting Tax Act.
It is the same insight which has caused the Commission to be cautious in
responding to the requests by segments of the industry for an increase number of
racing-days. Indeed, in recommending to the Government that the dates for racing
in 1978 remain almost exactly the same as in the previous year, your Commission
intends being able to monitor precisely the growth, or otherwise, of the sport.
We repeat, however, that we supervise a burgeoning sport, which requires
ever-escalating levels of oversight. We further regard an important aspect of our
over-all task as your Commission to be the encouragement of all segments of horse-
racing in British Columbia to continue to achieve that excellence which will draw
the increasing patronage of the people of our Province.
B. Costs within the total sport also increase rapidly. Your Commission is
most particularly concerned by the financial difficulties of the breeders of racing-
stock, which stock is the lifeblood of the sport.    In conjunction with your Com-
 mission's proposal for a decrease in the Government's share of the mutuel percentage, we also have certain long-term recommendations before the Government
regarding assistance to the breeders. We continue to urge most strongly the
implementation of these recommendations.
C. In concert with all segments of the sport, your Commission is unanimously
and respectfully of the conviction that there is no merit in the retention of legislation which disallows horse-racing on Sundays.
We make the point that while both Federally and Provincially there is a
thrust to retain recreational spending within our own jurisdictions, your Commission is dismayed by the substantial funds wagered by British Columbians on
Sunday racing in the State of Washington, moneys which would, with changed
Provincial and municipal legislation to allow Sunday racing here, accrue to the
sport within our own Province.
D. Your Commission is conscious of the fact that it is responsible for the
conduct of horse-racing throughout British Columbia.
In this regard, we were most happy that, in 1977, our recommendations for
monetary assistance to the Interior tracks were implemented by the Government.
The Commission has also been most pleased by the excellent public response to
the newly vitalized and enthusiastically presented thoroughbred racing at Sandown,
on Vancouver Island. We continue to explore ways by which the Commission may
assist in providing an expanded opportunity for Island residents to participate in
the sport.
E. The members of our Commission keep themselves aware of developments
on the racing scene throughout North America. Mutual areas of concern exist on
such diverse issues as, for example, uniform judging, medication, horse identification, exotic forms of wagering, and, above all, that of legalized off-track betting on
horse-racing, the promotion of which is being strongly urged by major segments of
the industry in Canada, a fact which your Commission regards with grave anxiety
in terms of its potential negative impact on racing as a sport.
In all these mutual concerns, your Commission finds most valuable the opportunity to attend the annual meetings of the Canadian Racing Commissions, at which
we were represented in 1977, and at which we anticipate a full attendance by the
Commission in January 1978.
Your Commission also remains a member of the National Association of State
Racing Commissioners. Unfortunately, no member of the British Columbia Racing
Commission has been present at an annual meeting since 1973. However, it is
expected that a full representation will be in attendance at the 1978 conference.
During 1977 the Commission held 25 formal meetings to decide racing-dates,
rule amendments, appeals from Stewards' rulings, and to consider numerous other
racing matters.
THOROUGHBRED RACING
1. Exhibition Park, Vancouver
(April 11 through October 15, 1977)
The British Columbia Jockey Club presented racing on 108 days this year and
attendance fell short by the barest of margins, the magic one million patron mark.
The purse money distributed to thoroughbred horse-owners competing at Exhibition
Park was $4,157,949, plus nomination and subscription fees paid to enter stake
races. Owners of British Columbia-bred horses received a further $837,528 as a
purse subsidy from the Provincial Government.
8
 Comparative Statistics for Exhibition Park, 1973-77
Year
Number           Amount
of Days      i     Wagered
Daily
Average
Daily
Percentage
Change
Average
Daily
Attendance
Daily
Percentage
Change
1973
$
109        |    57,738,655
100 |    66,419,396
101 |    75,958,605
104       |    79,620,397
108        |    89,347,766
1
$
529,712
664,193
752,065
765,580
827,294
+24.1
+25.3
+ 13.2
+ 1.7
+ 8.0
8,383
9,134
8,888
9,240
9,268
+ 1.9
1974    	
1975     	
1976 .                                 	
+8.9
—2.7
+3.9
1977	
+ -3
Rulings of the Stewards
There were 75 rulings issued by the Stewards at Exhibition Park during the
racing season for various violations of the rules and regulations. Of those issued,
31 were for irregular personal conduct, 28 for careless or faulty riding, eight for
irregular licensing procedures, two for reinstatement, and six for drug-related
offences. Four of the drug finds were for the analgesic drugs phenylbutazone and
hydroxyphenylbutazone, and one for procaine. The penalties imposed by the
Stewards on these occasions were licence suspensions and, in one case, a substantial
fine of a practising veterinarian for his inadvertent administration of a medication
too near race-time. In all cases of a reported positive drag-finding the horses were
subsequently disqualified from the race and the purse money redistributed.
The Stewards utilized the race video on 61 occasions to conclusively confirm
or refute suspected or reported rider infractions. These viewings resulted in the
Stewards altering the order of finish in 23 races.
2. Sandown Park, Sidney
(October 21 through November 21,1977)
The Capital City Turf Club, operators at Sandown Park, attempted to extend
their race-meet an additional three days; however, the weather was unkind and
therefore the over-all presentation was adversely affected.
This race-meeting was relatively free of rule violations; however, a positive
finding of the drug phenylbutazone resulted in substantial fines to two licensees
responsible for the condition of the horse in question. Two minor suspensions
were ordered for the riding infractions by two separate jockeys, and one indefinite
suspension was issued to a licensee for extremely poor conduct. The race video
aided the Stewards in their review of all races and the order of finish was altered
three times for careless or faulty riding.
Comparative Statistics for Sandown Park, 1975—77
Year
Number
of Days
Amount
Wagered
Daily
Average
Daily
Percentage
Change
Average
Daily
Attendance
Daily
Percentage
Change
1975	
1976	
1977...	
$
16        |      2,813,849
16        |      3,436,401
19        1      3.711.847
$
175,865
214,775
195,360
+22.1
- 9.0
2,805
3,303
2,801
+17.7
—15.1
HORSE-RACING IN THE INTERIOR
The Interior racing circuit received well-needed assistance from the Provincial
Government this year in the form of improvement grants equivalent to the betting
tax collected at each centre.
 The Government realized that these tracks were under extreme financial hardship and were operating under threat of closure if aid was not forthcoming. The
grants, distributed through the Racing Commission, were specifically to improve
facilities and the presentation of horse-racing within their respective communities,
and if possible, for over-all community benefit. This aid program was established
in relation to dollars wagered on a per diem basis and will be terminated when each
track reaches an established wagering level. In 1977 the six minor tracks received
a total of $35,000 under this program.
3. Desert Park, Osoyoos
(June 10, 11,17, and 18 and August 19, 20, 26, and 27, 1977)
Comparative Statistics for Osoyoos, 1973-77
Year
Number
of Days
Amount
Wagered
Daily
Average
Daily
Percentage
Change
Average
Daily
Daily
Percentage
Attendance
Change
1973..
1974-
1975..
1976..
1977.
s
33,523
44,605
61,524
74,255
121,616
$
8,380
11,126
15,381
18,563
15,202
+53.8
+32.7
+38.2
+20.6
-18.1
I
931
+ 16.3
712
-23.5
672
— 5.5
874
+30.0
595
—31.9
4. Sagebrush Downs, Kamloops
(June 22, 24, and 25, August 31, and September 2, 3, and 5,1977)
Comparative Statistics for Kamloops, 1973-77
Year
Number
of Days
Amount
Wagered
Daily
Average
Daily
Percentage
Change
Average
Daily
Attendance
Daily
Percentage
Change
1973. 	
3
1974	
5
1975
5
1976. '
1977	
7
7
109,190
173,137
183,809
245,275
239,830
I
I
$
36,397
34,627
36,761
35,039
34,261
+98.5
— 4.8
+ 6.1
— 4.6
— 2.2
4,233
1,283
1,126
1,280
2,261
+340.0
— 69.6
— 12.2
+ 12.0
+ 76.6
5. Fair Grounds, Williams Lake
(June 30 and July 1 and 2, 1977)
Comparative Statistics for Williams Lake, 1973-77
Year
Number
of Days
Amount
Wagered
Daily
Average
Daily
Percentage
Change
Average
Daily
Attendance
Daily
Percentage
Change
1973..	
1974                              	
3
4
3
3
2
$
34,890
47,126
59,452
39,161
55,212
$
11,630
11,781
19,817
13,053
27,606
+ 20.1
+    1.3
+ 6S.2
— 34.1
+ 111.8
4,533
3,661
2,000
428
3,450
— 24.5
— 19.2
1975     ...	
1976  	
1977	
- 45.3
- 78.6
+706.0
10
 6. Sunflower Downs, Princeton
(July 8 and 9,1977)
Comparative Statistics for Princeton, 1973—77
Year
Number
of Days
Amount
Wagered
Daily
Average
Daily
Percentage
Change
Average
Daily
Attendance
Daily
Percentage
Change
1973  	
1974	
2
2
2
2
2
$
31,396
36,094
29,926
47,008
53,406
$
15,698
18,047
14,963
23,504
26,703
+37.9
+14.9
— 17.0
+57.0
+13.6
1,525
1,250
800
1,052
1,087
+ 0.3
+ 18.0
1975	
1976 	
—36.0
+31.5
1977	
+ 3.3
7. Kinsmen Park, Vernon
(July 15,16, and 18,1977)
Comparative Statistics for Vernon, 1973-77
Year
Number
of Days
Amount
Wagered
Daily
Average
Daily
Percentage
Change
Average
Daily
Attendance
Daily
Percentage
Change
1973
1974.
1975
1976
1977
2 I
2 I
2 |
2 I
3 I
42,280
53,568
43,505
56,035
97,764
21,140
26,784
21,752
28,017
32,588
+49.3
+26.7
—18.7
+28.8
+ 16.3
2,250
1,850
1,350
1,823
2,816
+ 18.4
— 17.7
-27.0
+35.0
+54.4
QUARTER-HORSE RACING
The owners of quarter-horses remain hopeful that a major facility will be
developed upon which to race their quarter-horse stock. In 1977, recognized
quarter-horse racing was conducted at Osoyoos and Kamloops in conjunction with
the thoroughbred horse-racing.
STANDARDBRED RACING
Cloverdale Raceway is now the home of standardbred racing in British Columbia. The local residents who had supported harness racing while it ran at the
old Ladner location have enthusiastically moved to the Cloverdale plant to show
their appreciation of the sport.
Orangeville Raceways Ltd. are the lease operators of the track and before
year-end were able to open their new clubhouse facility for the added comfort of
their ever-increasing patrons.
Racing was offered on 63 nights and Saturday matinees between January 1
and April 9, and an additional 44 days between October 17 and December 31, 1977.
RULINGS OF THE JUDGES
There were 116 rulings issued by the Judges at Cloverdale Raceways during the
racing-season for various violations of the Rules and Regulations of Standardbred
Horse Racing, and the Rules and Regulations of the Canadian Trotting Association,
the latter adopted under the Provincial regulations. Careless and irregular driving
practices accounted for 99 of the rulings, personal conduct required 13 rulings,
11
 irregular licensing procedures necessitated three further rulings, and one ruling was
related to a drag offence. The positive drag-finding was for the analgesic drags
phenylbutazone and hydroxypenylbutazone, for which the licensee responsible
received a suspension and a substantial fine. As required by the regulations, the
horse from which the positive finding was determined was disqualified and the
purse money redistributed.
8. Orangeville Raceway Ltd.
Cloverdale Raceway, Surrey
(January 1 to April 9 and October 17 to December 31, 1977)
Comparative Statistics for Orangeville Raceway, 1976-77
Year
Number
of Days
Amount            Daily
Wagered     |   Average
Daily
Percentage
Change
Average
Daily
Attendance
Daily
Percentage
Change
1976    	
1977      	
111
107
$
16,483,073
21,718,493
$
148,496
202,979
+36.7
1,828
2,124
+16.1
9. Lower Fraser Valley Exhibition Association
Cloverdale Raceway, Surrey
(September 13,15, and 17, 1977)
Comparative Statistics for L.F.V.E.A., 1976-77
Year
Number
of Days
Amount
Wagered
Daily
Average
Daily
Percentage
Change
Average
Daily
Attendance
Daily
Percentage
Change
1976  	
2
3
$
21,021
91,759
$
10,510
30,586
+191.0
515
1,064
1977 -	
+ 10.6
The Lower Fraser Valley Exhibition Association presented their three days
of harness racing in conjunction with the Surrey Fair, and it would appear this will
become a regular event of the annual fair. This association offered the only minor
harness racing in the Province this year, as Smokey Downs in Squamish decided not
to operate in 1977.
REVENUE FROM HORSE-RACING, 1977
All personnel employed within the confines of the major racetracks in Vancouver, Surrey, and Sidney, and the owners, trainers, and jockeys at the Interior
race-meetings, are required to be licensed by this Commission.
Assistance is also offered the Consumer Taxation Branch in that the Commission collects the 7-per-cent social services tax on the sale of horses at the supervised
race-meetings.
To obtain a more clear picture of the revenues received by the Provincial
Treasury from the racing industry, the following breakdown also includes the total
pari mutuel betting tax:
12
 Licence Fees and Fines
(January to December 1977)
Occupational (1,512 @ $1)
Owners (1,441 @ $5) _
Trainers (255 @ $5)
Probationary trainers (53 @ $5)
Jockeys (57 @ $15) 	
Apprentice jockeys (19 @ $5) _—
Jockey agents (21 @ $5)	
Jockey valets (11 @ $1)
Veterinarians (10 @ $15) 	
Blacksmiths (22 @ $5) 	
Tradesmen (10 @ $15)	
Stable names (184 @ $10) 	
Partnerships (427 @ $1 per horse) 	
Authorized agents (456 @ $2 or A/A only $1)
Colours ($1 for annual; $5 for life)	
Company registrations (9 @ $25) 	
Reissue of lost licences	
Licence fees from Interior race-meets
Licence fees from Sandown Park	
Licence fees from Cloverdale	
Total
Fines
1
1
$
,512.00
,205.00
,275.00
265.00
855.00
95.00
105.00
11.00
150.00
110.00
150.00
,840.00
427.00
917.00
774.00
225.00
38.00
288.00
371.00
,627.00
18,240.00
1,975.00
20,215.00
7-per-cent social services tax collected by Commission on
bills of sale at Exhibition Park, Sandown, and Cloverdale         19,012.42
7-per-cent social services tax on horses claimed at Exhibition Park        86,976.00
7-per-cent social services tax on horses claimed at Cloverdale Raceway        13,038.84
Pari mutuel betting tax  8,080,639.00
Total   8,219,881.26
All of which is respectfully submitted.
BRITISH COLUMBIA RACING COMMISSION
R. Bruce Harvey, Chairman
Desmond Kimmitt, Commissioner
Jack Short, Commissioner
Robert E. Collis, Commissioner-Secretary
January 1978.
13
 Printed by K. M. MacDonald, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British Columbia.
1978
2M-378-8040

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