View Full Version : Protect our horseshow heritage

12-07-2004, 01:26 AM
Great article by Jennifer Reynolds. We must Vote YES and keep the "Renaissance" alive. Don't allow politics to get in the way of our city's "renaissance".

"Protect our horse show heritage

By Jenifer Reynolds

My mother was a fan of the saying, "You gotta dance with the gal that brung ya'." I was raised to believe in knowing where you came from and not forgetting, no matter where you ended up in life. I think it's a common attitude in our state, one that serves Oklahomans well as they move out into the world. But I think it's advice we could use here at home, too.
As a reporter I've covered attempts by Oklahoma to compete for everything from the superconducting super collider to an NHL hockey franchise. In many high-profile cases, our state has come up short, largely I think because what makes Oklahoma special is hard to explain to people who've never been here.

But you don't have to try to explain that to folks in the horse industry. They know and respect this city in a way that would probably surprise most Oklahomans.

Around the world -- from Israel to Japan to Germany to Brazil -- there are equestrians who get up every day with a single goal in mind: to get to Oklahoma City. It's a place synonymous with greatness, achievement and championship. They speak of "Oklahoma City" in almost reverential terms -- "Last year, in Oklahoma City." "Next year, in Oklahoma City." "Someday, in Oklahoma City!" On the equestrian map of the world, there is a bright, red star in Oklahoma City. In the world of horses, we are major league -- but that status isn't guaranteed.

While most Oklahomans drive by State Fair Park, barely noticing the hundreds of trailers parked there, make no mistake there are lots of other cities that do notice and understand what those trailers mean: Visitors who rent cars and hotel rooms, who pay for meals, and buy trucks and trailers and in many cases end up relocating here to be closer to the action. Fort Worth and Las Vegas would like to move that bright, red star out of Oklahoma City. As an Oklahoman, I am not inclined to give it away!

The members of the horse industry I work with most closely, the National Reining Horse Association -- which is headquartered here in Oklahoma City -- and the American Quarter Horse Association, both readily agreed to support the proposed hotel-motel tax increase, full knowing their members will be paying the higher tax.

In recent interviews with the founders of the sport of reining, to a man they listed moving the sport's biggest event -- the NRHA Futurity -- to Oklahoma City as the smartest thing they ever did. These groups understand what Oklahoma City has to offer. Now the question is, do we understand what these equestrians have to offer us? I think we do.

I hope someday we will be a major league hockey or baseball city, but right now we enjoy world-class status in equestrian events. Horses are -- if you will -- the "gal that brung" us. They are an important facet of our Western heritage, something the world knows us for, and a critical part of our modern economy -- one we should not neglect.

It is critical that Oklahoma City vote for the proposed hotel-motel tax on Dec. 14 to improve our fairgrounds facilities and do everything possible to continue our historic partnership with horses. It's just one more case in which Mom's advice turns out to be right! "

12-07-2004, 07:38 AM
Vote no.

Demand that politicians do not sneak things into our tax bills anymore.

A bill without a sunset clause means we will be paying for far more than a fair park renewal.

That'd be fine. But what else will this tax pay for?

12-07-2004, 09:55 AM
Hey MidTowner, politicians sneak things in tax bills all the time that we don't know about. There are not very many honest politicians in this state, so I know good and well that, no matter what you ask for, they are never, ever, going to be accountable for tax bills that they author. Why? Because, unfortunately, we have too many idiots out there that keep voting these moronic politicians back in to office.

Do I want them to be accountable for what they do? Of course I do, but when the same people keep getting voted in, that keep putting it to the taxpayers, then our hands are tied. I'm sick of it just like the next person, however, I will not let that stand in my way of trying to make OKC a great place to visit. Yes, it may be a permanent tax, and I'm sure some money will be misspent. Any tax that is passed here in OKC never fully goes to where it is suppose to go. I don't care how many oversight committees they get, money will always be spent elsewhere.

To me, if you wait for politicians to become honest and tell the truth about these tax bills, then OKC might as well go back to the 60's and 70's and not even try to get companies to relocate here or try to get special events relocated here.

12-07-2004, 10:04 AM
You seem to think that if this particular thing doesn't fly that an alternative won't be found. You seem to think that it's okay to go with the status queue as long as we get some of what we want.

I think that if this particular tax in its current for doesn't work out, an alternative will be found within 6 months.
I believe that the only reason the politicians and their supporters are cashing in on the money we entrust to them for other purposes is because we let them do it. The former owner of the state's largest newspaper used to do it and then laude what great leadership politicians were showing by misdirecting our money. Now that he is gone and the misinformation of the past has been weakened, I think it's very possible that we can get popular support in making these guys accountable.

We all want a better city with fun venues, hotels, good schools, a good economy, etc. I think it's extremely important that we send a message that we will no longer 'settle' for the best we can think we can get from the politicians. We'll demand that they give us the most fair and honest deal every single time or we won't support it.


12-07-2004, 02:30 PM
so you'd rather use our local funds rather than funds that will be generated primarily from out of towners?

12-07-2004, 02:43 PM
so you'd rather use our local funds rather than funds that will be generated primarily from out of towners?

What does that have to do with a single thing I've said thus far?

Completely outside the scope of almost anything I've discussed except for the fact that I made some vague allusions to the fact that to some degree this was taxation without representation, which should raise the hair on the back of your neck if you're a fan of American history...

But I never said that I was specifically against any hotel tax. Please at least make the attempt to read what I'm saying before jumping to such poorly conceived conclusions.

12-07-2004, 10:53 PM
You seem to think that if this particular thing doesn't fly that an alternative won't be found.

An alternative may not matter. Several of the horse shows at State Fair Park have already made it clear that if this tax does not pass, they will not renew their contract with Oklahoma City. That could mean a $180 billion bonus for our city being cut in half! At the same time, it sends a huge statement to other horse shows under longer contracts, that we could care less about spending money to keep them here. Sure, the bill isn't the best written, but we have to act NOW! If we don't act NOW, there will be no horseshows left to fight for.

12-08-2004, 01:24 PM
Then, I'm sorry to say it, but the politicians should have done it right the first time. I will not accept their having put something like this off until the 11th hour as a reason for me to vote something in that I don't like.

12-08-2004, 10:18 PM
It's our loss! :frown:

12-08-2004, 10:36 PM
In the long run, if deals like that are allowed to be done behind closed doors, it will be even more of a loss for us.

We have to draw the line somewhere.