09/23/2005 12:00AM

Homecoming weekend precedes sale

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The Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association, in conjunction with the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co., will host the annual Ocala homecoming week starting Oct. 7. The owners' and breeders' group events are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The sales company takes over with its annual fall mixed sale from Oct. 10 through Oct. 14.

The first day of the weekend has traditionally been earmarked for the annual charity and scholarship golf tournament. This year's event has a four-player scramble format. Those wishing to play as a foursome, or to join one, should contact the owners' and breeders' association. The fee is $125 per person or $450 per foursome.

The owners' and breeders' association's annual meeting will be at the Golden Hill Golf and Turf Club on Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. New board members will be seated, and the past year's industry-related events will be reviewed. Status and project reports will be delivered by board members, and Dick Hancock, executive vice president of the association, will give his report. D.G. Van Clief Jr., chief executive of Breeders' Cup Ltd., will be the guest speaker.

"It's been quite a year," said Hancock. "And it's not over yet. The input I get from Tallahassee is that Gov. Jeb Bush will call for a special session of the Florida legislature in October or November to address last year's amendment to the Florida constitution which permits slots at parimutuel facilities in Broward County."

The amendment calls upon the legislature to implement a revenue mechanism for the parimutuel facilities in Broward County - legislation that is already past due, according to the specifics of the amendment.

Two new members of the owners' and breeders' board will be seated. One is Fred Brei, owner of Jacks or Better Farm. Brei was given the 2001 and 2004 Needles Award by the association as an outstanding small-scale breeder. The other is Dr. Barry Eiseman, a veterinarian and longtime Ocala resident who operates Eiseman Equine, primarily a pinhooking business. He also sits on the board of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.

Serving another term on the owners' and breeders' board is Joseph "Mike" O'Farrell, owner of Ocala Stud. Also re-elected to the board are Nadia Sanan Briggs of Padua Stables and Dean DeRenzo of Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds. Briggs is president of Florida Thoroughbred Charities and serves on several industry-related organizations. DeRenzo is a vice president of the breeders' and owners' association.

The Florida Thorobred Fillies Club will hold its annual musical fundraiser at the OBS sales auditorium on Oct. 8. Curtain time for the show, a spoof of the horse-sales business, is 8 p.m. Refreshments will be available at 7 p.m. There is a donation of $20 per ticket.

The breeders' and owners' association's cocktail party is set for Oct. 9, starting at 6 p.m. at Steinbrenner's Ramada Inn. The party is open to all members and their guests. The dress code is informal.

The OBS fall mixed sale will begin at 11 a.m. on Oct. 10. There are two catalogs for this auction. The first, the consignors' preferred portion, runs through Wednesday with 962 horses cataloged. The final two days of sales are open and have 556 cataloged.

Reception for state senator on Tuesday

Members of the breeders' and owners' association and officers of the Florida Thoroughbred Farm Managers Inc. - Bobby Jones, George Isaacs, and Sharon Maharg - are co-sponsoring a reception for state Sen. Rod Smith at Ocala's Hilton Hotel at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Smith, a declared candidate for next year's gubernatorial election, has said that he intends to work with the Thoroughbred and parimutuel industries and is open to suggestions. Following the reception, Smith will attend the Florida Thoroughbred Farm Managers dinner at the Hilton starting at 7 p.m. More information is available from the farm managers' group at (352) 629-2160.