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Beyond the Paddock
Real People...Real Jobs...Real Impact!
On November 4th Your Vote In The General Election Could Make a Big Difference!  

The fact is as few as 100 votes could change the outcome of representation in the House of Delegates and the Senate! 

October 16, 2014:  We are in a fight for our lives and it is imperative that horsemen, their families and friends, exercise their right to vote for candidates that support the racing and breeding industries in the county and the state.  PLEASE MAKE PLANS TODAY TO GET OUT AND VOTE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION. 
'Any loss of racing days or change in the purse structure will have a dramatic effect on the families here in Jefferson County. It would irreversibly change the rural character of the area.'
Doctor Keith Berkeley
Dr. Keith Berkeley has lived here for over 30 years and he employs 15 people in our community. Read his predictions about The Real Impact legislative changes will have on our economy.

As a large animal veterinarian serving Jefferson County since 1984, Dr. Keith Berkeley sees live thoroughbred racing as a mainstay of his practice and a lynch pin of the entire local economy.  He strongly believes that “any loss of racing days or change in the purse structure would have a dramatic effect on the families here in Jefferson County” and would irreversibly change the rural character of the area.

Berkeley owns Valley Equine Associates, a practice that employs seven veterinarians and up to eight administrators and technicians.  The animals associated with the race track and surrounding thoroughbred farms make up about 80 to 85 percent of his practice. He readily acknowledges that without the current level of racing activity at Charles Town, the profitability of his practice would be impacted and “we could not support the 14 families that we do today.” Other equine veterinarians who do not have as a diversified practice as Berkeley does would feel it even worse.

Every dollar spent at the track generates six dollars or more in the commercial and rural economy, and this multiplier effect plays a disproportionately large role in sustaining local farms throughout the year. “We have farmers providing the best nutritional hay and straw for the horses,” says Berkeley. “ If racing were to go away, the farmers would see a precipitous drop in income from the horsemen.” The veterinarian predicts a domino effect would ensue with farms going under and farmers selling their land to developers. Once that happens, he says, “the green space is gone and the rural character of this beautiful place with its lovely horse farms and historic traditions is lost forever.”

Dr. Berkeley believes it’s time PNGI, the gambling consortium that owns Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Racing, hold up its end of the bargain. “PNGI promised if we, the community, the teachers, the business people and the horsemen voted for 222, the bill to expand Charles Town gambling, live thoroughbred racing would be protected. I can’t see how reducing racing days will do anything but ultimately destroy live thoroughbred racing for good.”

That’s why he says it is important to the long-term health of the state and the local economy that “we find a way for all of us to work together to make live thoroughbred racing successful and sustainable for future generations.” 

Real People...Real Jobs...Real Impact!

We Need Your Help!

The reduction of purse money will have a negative impact on our community & we need to do something about it! 

Here are a some things you can do to help:

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Do You Understand The Financial Impact Racing Has On Our Community? Most People Don't!

Read & Share the Economic Impact Study.  It Impacts Your Life!

Last month the most viewed page on our website was The Economic Impact Study from the January 2014 West Virginia University studyDid  you read it?  This document explains the financial impact racing has on our community. If you haven't read it you need to? Read it here and share with your friends.
Some key findings:

1) The thoroughbred and greyhound racing industries in West Virginia contribute more than $321 million in total business volume to the state’s economy. To provide some context, this level of output constitutes about 12 percent of the leisure and hospitality sector statewide.

2) The industries support more than 7,300 jobs in West Virginia. This figure is equivalent to about 10 percent of employment in the state’s leisure and hospitality sector.

3) The industries generate more than $100 million in total employee compensation.

4) The industries generate $4.6 million in total state tax revenue.

5) Thoroughbred racing accounts for around three-fourths of the total economic impact of the two industries.

6) Jefferson County, home to Charles Town Races, accounts for nearly half of the total business volume impact of the industries, while Hancock County, home to Mountaineer Park, accounts for nearly 30 percent. The two greyhound racing counties together account for approximately 10 percent of the total business volume impact.

7) Approximately 11 percent of the total business volume impact of the industries that is experienced within the state is outside of the four racing counties.
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