06/27/2002 11:00PM

California owner group to expand


A bill that would expand the membership of the Thoroughbred Owners of California to include trainers who own horses or the spouses of those trainers passed a state Senate committee earlier this week.

Since 1995, when the TOC was formed, owner-trainers and their spouses were excluded from the organization because of TOC bylaws. Under the new legislation, they would be granted membership and will have voting privileges on issues put to the general membership.

In addition, three owner-trainers, and/or spouses, will be elected to the TOC board of directors, which will be expanded from 12 to 15 members.

The bill has come under some criticism from trainers, who would like to see trainers have an even larger role on the TOC, which controls issues such as purse distribution.

The California Thoroughbred Trainers issued a statement on the bill, stating, in part, "the CTT realizes that this is not a perfect solution and it does not satisfy all of the legitimate concerns of our constituents. It is a compromise solution and it represents a major step forward."