Attending (12): Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Murray Forth, Terry Brewer, Dick Drumm, Stewart Wagner, Debbie Rodriguez, Len Leonidas, Carole Spencer, Carol Orvis, Rommel Tolentino, Ron Annis.
Guests (3): Amy Dowd, Colin Dowd, Maggie Forth.
Program: “Working In Harness”
Amy Dowd and Colin Dowd, co-owners of Dowd Racing Stable and Stone Hollow Farm in Stillwater, Saratoga County, offered a slideshow and commentary on the process of training trotting and pacing horses for competitive professional horse racing.
In their business, they board more than 20 horses, most of them harness track race horses. They also provide foaling services and temporary quartering. They also operate a national horse transportation service, and training of trotting and pacing horses.
Amy explained the differences between thoroughbred racing, such as the flat track at Saratoga Race Course, and harness racing, such as at Saratoga Gaming & Raceway. She also outlined the process for becoming a licensed trainer in New York State — which she is, which includes practical handling of horses as well as a written exam.
And, she described the financial breakdown of racing purses. Everything is done on a percentage of the purse for each purse, with 50% going to the winning entry’s owner who then pays the trainer and driver 5% each, and sometimes adds a tip to the payoff.
Colin explained the differences in states’ breeding programs and what that allows as far as high0stakes races per state. He also described his horse-transportation service, part of the Stone Hollow Farm entity, that involves moving race horses, jumpers, show horses and so on to sales, boarding facilities, race tracks and breeding facilities in all parts of the country.
He has several truck-and-trailer combinations and several drivers working for him to handle the heavy volume pf horse traffic.
Both Amy and Colin answered a variety of questions on what their hectic schedules are like, on breeding horses, the financial aspects of the business, and so on.
Business & Announcements
SPORTS FUNDRAISERS — President Bill Dowd reminded members of two upcoming fundraisers — our 4th annual “Bowl Over Polio” at the East Greenbush Bowling Center on Sunday, January 25, and the “Mid-Winter Simulator Golf Tournament” at the Burden Lake Country Club on Saturday, January 31. He urged members to take flyers for each event that he has provided and get them posted in offices, community bulletin boards. etc. He also noted that volunteers are needed to help staff each event so coordinators Murray Forth and Terry Brewer don’t have to do all the table work.
ANNIVERSARY DINNER — Bill said we need more more reservations ASAP for the club’s 55th anniversary dinner scheduled for Thursday, March 5. District Governor Dave Hennel has promised to attend, and Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine is a possibility. He strongly urged members to plan to attend this once-in-a-lifetime event and to bring guests. He also asked if anyone has sold program ads. Several members said they had, and Bill reminded them of the February 13 advertising deadline. Ads are priced at $25 for a quarter-page, $50 for a half-page, and $100 for a full page. Checks will be handed over to Treasurer Murray Forth, and all ad copy and business logos will be delivered to Bill for program design.
FOOD DRIVE — Tonight was the second of three meetings at which we are collecting non-perishable food items for our annual “Cans In a Box” drive for local food pantries. Our partner in the drive, the Greenbush Area Y, reports it is going well there, and our members were urged to make a strong final effort for the January 22 meeting.
POCKET CHANGE DRIVE — Everyone was reminded to continue contributing to the “Pocket Change” jug which will go to support The Great American Milk Drive, a food pantry supplement program. Bill reminded anyone who has not yet done so to check out the brief video on the club website explaining the drive.
OFFICER ELECTIONS — As announced last month, the Board in its role as Nominating Committee will be introducing at the January 22 meeting a slate of officer candidates for the 2015-16 Rotary Year. We will be asking for nominations from the floor before a vote is taken.
NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, January 22, at Quigley’s. The program, arranged by Stewart Wagner, will be a demonstration of thermoelectric power.