History and Scope
The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association was founded in 1937 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing in California. It is governed by a board of 15 directors voted on by the association's membership.
The CTBA has kept measure with the growth of the industry in the state and is today among the largest organization of its kind in the nation. The membership is comprised of people representing all walks of life and all levels of involvement in the industry.
California's Thoroughbred industry today accounts for 50,000 jobs and 148,000 Thoroughbred horses that have a $5.1 billion impact on the state's economy.
It was in the 1850s that Don Andreas Sepulveda brought the first known Thoroughbred to California. This was the imported Australian mare Black Swan. Her easy victory over Governor Pio Pico's prized Spanish-bred stallion Sarco in a nine-mile cross-country race caught the attention of the Old West, and sparked a steady influx of Thoroughbreds into the state. The Walker-Otis Anti-Racetrack Gambling Bill in 1909, however, brought an end to legalized horse racing in California. As a result, the Thoroughbred industry slowed to a crawl and did not pick up again for more than 20 years.
With the passing of the Woolwine-Maloney Bill in 1933 racing returned in full force to California. The first meeting held under the new legislation was the San Joaquin County Fair in Stockton in 1933, followed by Pomona, Tanforan, Bay Meadows and soon after by Santa Anita, Del Mar and Hollywood Park.
CTBA’s impact on the state’s breeding and racing industry is far reaching. CTBA administers the Maiden Bonus Program, which adds $10,000 to winners of maiden allowance races in Northern California and $17,500 to winners of maiden special weight races in Southern California. CTBA also administers California’s lucrative incentive awards program, which includes Breeders Awards, Owner Awards, Stallion Owner Awards, and the California-bred Race Fund. Awards totaled nearly $12 million last year. In addition, CTBA is the official registering agency for California-bred Thoroughbreds. The Association conducts one Thoroughbred auction each year – the Northern California Yearling Sale. CTBA is a co-sponsor of California Cup day and is instrumental in coordinating the entire California-bred restricted racing schedule. The CTBA hosts numerous educational seminars and events throughout the state. On the communication front, CTBA publishes California Thoroughbred magazine, yearly stallion and industry directories and maintains an interactive Internet web site, www.ctba.com.