Judge postpones hearing legal challenge to barrel racing at Gretna

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With the state working on a new rule for horse racing, an administrative law judge Monday postponed a legal challenge to barrel racing at a Gadsden County pari-mutuel facility, reports the News Service of Florida. A hearing was scheduled to start Thursday, but Judge Cathy M. Sellers postponed it until March 28. The move came after the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which oversees the pari-mutuel industry, gave notice that it will develop a new horse-racing rule. The case stems from the department’s decision this fall to issue a racing license to a new pari-mutuel facility in the Gadsden County community of Gretna. The facility runs rodeo-style barrel races, while also offering a poker room. Two quarter-horse organizations filed the challenge, arguing that barrel racing is not a legally acceptable form of racing at a pari-mutuel facility. The department has countered in legal documents that state law does not specify the types of races at pari-mutuel facilities and that the agency didn’t take into consideration the barrel-racing issue when approving the Gretna license. The department issued the rule-making notice last week. The notice does not provide details of what the department might propose, but a new rule likely would affect how horse-racing laws are carried out.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.