Happiness Is A Happy ERC!


Several of you have raised some excellent points regarding our new registration policy for 2017. In fact, I’ve received phone calls, emails and letters expressing disappointment that newcomers get first crack at registration, mainly wondering why we chose to institute a new policy without fair warning.

It’s a point well taken and one that should have been explained better when we began 2017 registration last week.

First of all, it’s a tribute to ERC founder Sophia McKee for creating something people are so passionate about and also trainer Sharon Ross for skilfully developing the horses while making the barn so accessible and enjoyable for club members. In short, Sophia created something so fun and affordable that people are returning in droves every year.

That’s great! I have been amazed and heartened by the enthusiastic membership of the Club; you folks support the horses win or lose. In discussing the future of the Club with Emerald Downs’ President Phil Ziegler, however, we examined the long-range goals and simply thought newcomers should be allowed a short window to be first up for 2017. One of the club missions is to hopefully develop new owners and new fans for Thoroughbred racing and Emerald Downs.

But we don’t wish to exclude anybody and have even discussed the possibility of separate clubs for newcomers and returnees. For this year, though, I’m pretty confident in saying there’s room for everybody who wants to return in 2017!



19 thoughts on “Happiness Is A Happy ERC!

  1. Hi there Vince!

    Thanks for getting my registration handled this week! I’m so glad that you did as I had no idea that there was a new policy as the last email said that we had until Feb 15th to register before it was opened to others.

    I wanted to connect as I obviously missed some information on registration – where should I have seen that? Was an email sent out to let others know to sign up? I just want to be sure I am signed up for all the correspondence;)

    Anyhoo – so glad that my registration is set and I very much so apprecaite your help!

    Have a super weekend! Kristie Polito

  2. Thanks for the explanation Vince. I think it is a good reminder that the *point* of the club was and is to introduce new people to the sport and industry. I’m eager to sign up again — indeed, I have my paperwork all filled out & ready to mail in — but I’m happy to let new folks have a head start. Good call.

  3. Oddly enough I missed the First Timer priority note- Perhaps I just assumed that returning Members had priority and that this note was a misprint. As you’ve stated, This was a big mistake. The Emerald Racing Club members have become a group of friends over the years and to forcibly break us up is bad form and it would leave a negative taste in everyone’s mouth. Rest assured that the club is achieving it’s goal of increasing interest in horse ownership. Many of us have or had already become partners in other syndicates but we like the social aspects of “The Club”. Keeping heritage members in one group and adding another is not a bad idea. I’d also recommend looking for a horse to claim be as early as possible. (or make an offer to buy Archie back) Club members are hungry to be involved and losing one or two months of the season is not good. It may not be a bad idea for the Track to front-fund the claim if need be so that we can share in the horses’ development during February and March. That anticipation is one of the fun parts of ownership and we are missing out on that. Nevertheless, when all is said and done, the Emerald Racing Club is a great concept that is working and I thank Sofie, you, and Emerald Downs for keeping it going. I’ll be retiring this year and increased horse-ownership is definitely in my future, but even then, I still plan to be apart of ERC- just for the fun of it. Please confirm that you’ve received (and accepted) my application. Thanks for listening and for all you do.



    • Hi Milt, Look forward to having you back in ERC this year. You have been a big part of the success, what with your T-shirts and all! Jody Peetz, whose O B Harbor was voted 2016 Emerald Downs Horse of the Meeting, has graciously offered to help with an Emerald Racing Club seminar devoted to horse ownership. We’ll host it at the track, probably in May or June, and it will demonstrate the many available ways to become further involved in Thoroughbred ownership.

  4. Thank you for the clarification of the rules. I did not read the message through and tried to sign up. I now understand and am willing to wait and hope for the best.
    Keep up the good work.


  5. I also thought I had until the 15th; I had a long comment but now I will echo what has been said above and see what the future holds as a racehorse owner. My thoughts are with the racehorses and the happiness and joy they brought to me personally and feel lucky to have shared time with them.

  6. Hello Vince,

    We completely understand letting new members have 1st crack, from Emerald Downs perspective, they want to attract new people to the business.

    We faxed in our application & CC info. just the same, so after Feb.15th, you can get us in the mix. Please let me know if you received everything OK. Thanks. Jeff Sewell

    • Hi Jeff, Yep, received it. In fact, I have several completed registration forms from previous club members that I will begin to process Thursday, February 16. Look forward to having you back in the Club!

  7. I sent in an application with my name and my husband’s name. We just got the email that he was accepted as a new member. Do I have to send in another application for me to join, too? This was paid for with my savings, and my name was first on the application. Just a little confused. Thanks! Kim Carlson, Marysville

    • Hi Kim, I sent you an email with remarks to your specific case. Generally speaking, each member must be licensed by the Washington Horse Racing Commission.

      • I posted this back in Feb but it never showed up (says awaiting moderation), so I will repost my question since it got missed:

        I’m confused on this. I recall it said membership would cover one WHRC license. Is this not the case? Or are there exceptions?

        “Generally speaking” implies to me that there are exceptions or the answer is maybe? Are there options and if so can we learn what they are?

        I, like Kim and maybe a few others, would like to know if husband and wife ever got ID each or is it prohibited? Or is there just a small fee for the added ID? This seems to not have been addressed and it comes up in another recent posting too.

        I can see some applicable examples like it’d be nice if I, as the photoID holder, was too busy to go to but the wife and maybe 1 guest wanted to for the day. In all reality in following WA reg’s with just the one photoID I must always attend or no one can. LOL, maybe I should have had HER get the photoID?

        Anyway, a clarification would be informative and welcomed as well as any options available to club members on that issue.


  8. Hi, I’m one of the newbies and I’m excited about being involved and getting to know the other owners. Here’s to a good year of ERC racing.

    Dave Jones

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