Notice of Termination to Simulcast

October 16, 2017

Mr. Eric Wilson                                                          

Ms. Sally Briggs                                                   

Gulf Coast Racing
Gulf Greyhound Park
P.O. Box 488
La Marque TX  77568

Ms. Andrea Young                                                    

Valley Race Park
2601 Ed Carey Drive
Harlingen TX 78552


Dear Mr. Wilson, Ms. Briggs & Ms. Young,

The Texas Greyhound Association (TGA) hereby gives notice to terminate the existing agreements for the export of live race signal and to import greyhound and horse signals “simulcast;” effective sixty (60) days from today.  This notice terminating simulcast agreements applies to Gulf Greyhound Park (Gulf), Gulf Coast Racing and Valley Race Park (VRP).

Until further agreement, the TGA will withhold authorizing any transfer of purse to Gulf.  Gulf has avoided discussion and negotiation with the TGA in regard to:

  1. A simulcast agreement to replace the terms established when Gulf ran year around compared to the 36 programs planned for 2017-2018.  The TGA is also concerned that Gulf has not committed to exporting a signal from their planned meet as stated in Eric Wilson’s letter to the TGA of October 4, 2017. 
  2. Providing terms for participation by active Texas breeders in choice of racing format and kennel agreements.
  3. The exclusion of the TGA from developing and maintaining a safe track.  The TGA expects Gulf to improve track conditions and operations and join in underwriting the TGA Injured Athletes Program.

The TGA Board of Directors voted to take this action following the industry meeting in Houston on September 27, 2017.  The TGA deeply regrets the unwillingness of the track associations to participate in developing a framework consistent with our April, 2016 agreement as presented to the Texas Racing Commission (TRC.) 

Simulcast was originally allowed as a means to support and encourage Texas breeding

This action by the TGA is based on our commitment to members and the terms of the Texas Racing Act, Rules of Racing and the previously established position of the Texas Racing Commission (TxRC) to permit simulcast as a means of supporting and developing horse and greyhound breeding in Texas.  Gulf has declined to negotiate with the TGA on simulcast allocation, commitment to Texas breeders, track safety and greyhound welfare as well as the format and schedule of racing.

The purpose for allowing simulcast is set out in Rule 321.401 which establishes the TRC intent to adopt and enforce rules relating to simulcast which will encourage greyhound breeding, owning, and training industries.  The TGA has the duty under Rule 309.361(c) to negotiate with each association regarding the association’s live racing program, including but not limited to the allocation of purse money to various live races, the exporting of simulcast signals, and the importing of simulcast signals during live race meetings.  Gulf’s proposal in 2015 for nominal scheduling of a race date to maintain simulcast was properly rejected by the TxRC.  The TGA has been expecting to participate in semiannual meetings to reach agreement on incorporating simulcast with a reduced races schedule in a manner which would provide much needed opportunity for Texas greyhound breeders.  The TGA expects a fair allocation of simulcast and expects Gulf to continue exporting signal to fund the future.  The TGA is disappointed the semiannual meetings have not occurred and will not accept the failure to engage in meaningful discussion and negotiate equitable terms when the future of greyhound racing in Texas is at stake.

The Texas bred competition provided a successful meet at Valley; Why Gulf’s attempt at “traditional racing” is destructive to Texas breeding

The representation by Gulf that the anticipated short racing schedule provides “traditional racing” is disingenuous. The TGA suspects Gulf plans on using other than active breeders to meet residency requirements for kennel contracts while providing a circuit for graded racers currently completing their season elsewhere.  The TGA has determined there are approximately twelve hundred (1,200) Texas bred greyhounds available to fill the compound of two hundred seventy (270) greyhounds for the same format of successful racing concluded at Valley earlier this year.   The TGA is committed to providing each eligible hound with a right to race, that is any owner who wants to race a Texas bred greyhound should be able to school and if successful kennel their hound for competition.  The TGA expects active Texas breeders to have kennels, either independently, in partnership or through a cooperative arrangement.  Out of state kennel operators or their Texas representatives, having no ownership interest in the hounds kenneled, is bad for the track safety and discourages Texas breeding. An active breeder with a kennel will be bringing his own dogs and the breeder will be concerned about all aspects of safety and performance.  Out of state kennels and/or token presence of Texans who are not breeders, handling non Texas bred greyhounds which they don’t own, is racing with less accountability.   It is unlikely the “circuit” and multi-track operators  chosen by Gulf for kennel booking would ever complain about track conditions or operational risk to the greyhounds as the out of state operators will receive at least fifty percent of purse with nominal financial risk. The Gulf statement at the September 27, 2017 meeting that Gulf would comply with the rules regarding minimum percentage of Texas bred is disheartening.  Fewer than fifteen (15) Texas bred in the kennel compound would constitute compliance with the current rules.  This is an inadequate commitment.  In years past, the Dubuque-Valley circuit resulted in significant purse going out of state.  This is no longer affordable.  The TGA expects, in consideration for the short racing season accepted in the 2016 accord, that greyhounds racing in Texas will be a significant majority of Texas bred, if not exclusively Texas bred.  The Texas bred racing created additional opportunity at the close of the recent Valley performances by placing the now experienced, successful greyhounds at other tracks for their careers and providing a sale opportunity for active  Texas breeders who have been hard pressed to survive the challenges of the decline in racing. Thirty-one percent (31%) of the Texas bred payments resulting from Valley racing were paid out of state.  Unlike Arkansas, Texas bred program participation is open to all.

The more insidious component of the “traditional racing” as espoused by Gulf is the minimum performance season running graded races. This will financially minimize the limited Texas bred participation.  Assuming the top grade races pay eight (8) points and the maiden three (3) points and the ratio of top grade to maiden racing is two to one, then a literal handful of graded hounds will take the majority of available purse.  There is extremely limited opportunity for Texas bred greyhounds, racing anywhere other than from a circuit, to be brought to Gulf for a short season.  The agreement placing the greyhound in a track kennel, assigns the greyhound to the kennel for racing life.  Even if permission could be obtained by the owner from the kennel, the kennel must then satisfy the track association requirements by finding another greyhound to replace the Texas bred who is departing.  Highly unlikely that more than a handful of Texas bred graded greyhounds, not coming from a circuit, will be available.  It is inconceivable to expect greyhound breeding in Texas to survive limited racing seasons when the racing allowed is structured to send the majority of purse money out of state through a handful of national kennel interests being granted Gulf kennels to race non Texas bred greyhounds.

Despite the Claims of Sally Briggs and Eric Wilson, a 1% injury rate is a disaster for greyhounds and an embarrassment to the sport

 At the September 27, 2017 meeting, Sally Briggs defended the safety of Gulf by claiming an injury rate of one percent.  In Eric Wilson’s letter to the TGA of October 4, 2017, he asserted “Gulf has an injury rate of around 1% of starts, which is well within the industry rate for injuries.”  The injury rate Gulf touts is shameful.  In comparison, the Valley programs provided well over four thousand starts.  The TGA Injured Athletes Program, which Gulf has declined to join, provided care for the three hounds sustaining career ending injuries.  The TGA provided reimbursement for care and assisted with transportation for these greyhounds.  An injury rate below 1/100 of one percent.  The less than one per thousand injury rate was below the guesstimate used by the TGA in underwriting the injured athletes program was 4/100’s of one percent.  TGA members and the public expect greyhounds to be great competitors in as safe an environment as possible.  The TGA expects to have a role in preparation and maintenance of tracks.  The TGA should be engaged in operational review of equipment and irrigation to ensure best practices and expects track associations to participate in our injured athletes program so any greyhound sustaining a career ending injury while running on their track will have the treatment, rehabilitation and transportation required to reach a well-earned retirement.


The TGA has acted to protect the interests of our members and reject practices which threaten the future of greyhound breeding in Texas.  The TGA wants greyhound racing in Texas which complies with the rules of racing, provides opportunity for active Texas breeders and builds a future which will encourage others to join.


David Peck, President

TGA Board of Directors

Cc:       David Dyal

            Billy Galbreath

            Ray Campana

            Ed Gardner

            Lee Harrington

            Jerry Kramer

            Joe Lail

            Eddie McDonald

Lois Mowery-Orta, Executive Office

Laird Morgan, TGA Counsel


Chair John T Steen III

Ronald F. Ederer Vice-Chair

Gloria Hicks

THP:  Marsha Rountree