The backers of Proposition 1, the initiative to reauthorize historical horse racing in Idaho, announced a new charitable initiative at Boise’s Les Bois Park Thursday, September 27.

Clad in well-worn boots, jeans, a blazer and large cowboy hat, Robert Rebholtz Jr. stood at a podium with the other owners of Treasure Valley Racing behind him. The group is the sole funder of Proposition 1.

Rebholtz says the state’s live horse racing industry would be revitalized if a related but alternative revenue stream could be tapped. Highlighting the brief window between 2014 and 2015 when historical horse racing was permitted, he says purses went up at the time and local economies were helped by the jobs generated by the industry.

After touching on past success, Rebholtz pivoted.

“We are announcing that we will be dedicating 100 percent of the net profits generated by Treasure Valley Racing and historical horse racing to a foundation we have recently formed,” said Rebholtz.

Following a burst of applause from a group of Proposition 1 supporters, Rebholtz explained the monies from the organization would go to support scholarships at Idaho colleges.

According to Rebholtz, the funding going to institutions would preferentially go to students “interested in pursuing degrees in agriculture, animal science or equine studies.”

Funds would also go towards supporting 4H programs, nonprofits in rural areas and special assistance projects tailored to rural families.

Treasure Valley Racing is leading the campaign to reinstate historical horse racing. The measure’s main opponents are the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and a coalition called Idaho United Against Prop 1.

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