January 1936: National trainer licensing proposed

“A concerted effort to bring about uniformity in rules governing horse racing took shape today at the third annual convention of the National Association of State Racing Commissioners.

Delegates from 17 states, assembled in the Miami Biltmore hotel, heard Thomas C. Worden, representing the Thoroughbred Horse Owners and Trainers’ Association, propose uniform regulations “similar to those in football.”

Most of all, Worden said, is there need from some national body to license trainers – who now have to take out licenses in every state permitting racing – and thus keep “undesirables” out of the sport.

Thereupon, Walter H. Donovan, president of the association, appointed an eleven-man committee, with Edwin James Brown, head of the Washington State Commission, as chairman, to review and report upon suggestions for betterment of racing.

Earlier, Donovan, in an address that was the high spot of the morning’s initial session, sounded warning against “indifference to public reactions and good will” and urged racing men to take upon themselves improvement of the sport.

Denouncing “haphazard, conflicting individualistic” operation of racing plants, he recommended enlistment of federal and state aid “without which we can accomplish nothing,” to eliminate such undermining influences as the “doping” of horses, and “operation of the illegal handbook, allied with tipsters, touts and other activities of the ‘easy money boys.’ ”
(The Atlanta Constitution, 01/15/1936)

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