The MassTHA Board has resolved to open nominations and conduct elections of board members for seating in 2016 through 2018. Nominations for trainers and owners will open and close in March with April 2016 elections. Details will be provided to the certified membership qualifying to cast ballots in the election.

Please consult the MassTHA Bylaws or contact Attorney Robert G. Scarano, Counsel for the Association, for rules and regulations regarding the conduct of the election and process.

As a direct consequence of the election announcement and immediately after the Valentine Day General Membership Meeting, several active protesters expressed interest as candidates for 2016 nominations and election.

An executive session was initiated and adjourned, Attorney Scarano issued his legal opinion in response to consolidated questions posed by the several protesters relevant to their ability to be nominated, run and accept if elected as a director or officer. Scarano notified protesters of options available to them and stated.

“in light of the very real possibility an arbitrator will make detailed findings of fact holding the HBPA election conducted in 2014 violated its own election rules and bylaws, a distinct possibility exists where one or more of our current members could be reseated to the HBPA Board and thereafter disqualified from a nomination or seating as a MassTHA Board member”.

The protest arbitration hearing was set for March 3, 2016 before a retired Superior Court Justice appointed when the HBPA refused to cooperate with the American Arbitration arbitrator.

One protester quoted after receiving Attorney Scarano’ s opinion.

” Winning the protest provides more risk than benefit now. It would be a moral victory only. I could never serve the HBPA membership if reseated or elected if the arbitrator ordered a rerun of the 2014 election. I am a MassTHA member and I intend to remain a member here whether successful as a candidate or not “.

That sentiment was echoed by the remaining seven active election protesters over the following days, apparently agreeing to instruct their private retained counsel notify American Arbitration Association of their decision to withdraw the election protest effective Friday March 18, 2016.

Each of the former active protesters expressed interest in seeking Board or Committee positions with the MassTHA, looked forward to establishing their majority of horsemen status before the gaming commission, focusing on certifying the membership now approaching 500 active horsemen and women, opposing definition of a horsemen group and proposed changes to 205 CMR 149.00 and concluding a purse agreement at Brockton to run in 2016 and 2017. ” These are our priorities”

“Irregularities in 2014 HBPA election resulted in the protest. That seem distant at this point where the MassTHA has grown by leaps and bounds, addressed and satisfied every concern I had and openly took input and action”, said one member.

“The legal opinion concluded it would result in a conflict of interest for a MassTHA Board Member to serve on the board of another horsemen’s group. That makes all the sense in the world. Who knew at the time of the protest the MassTHA would become the majority horsemen group, be able to resurrect and propose extended racing and address the concerns of their membership in such an efficient and speedy manner”, said another member.

“On to the next step “, said a 50 year veteran of racing. ” I am going to make my opinion known, that just because the HBPA is no longer the majority, the racing commission should not create special language to accommodate their inability to run more than one day at Suffolk. They have suspended or terminated so many horsemen, I am surprised they have any members at all. I hold no hard feeling and would welcome them here. I think they would see how it was in the old days” .

Please stay tuned for further developments on nominations and election developments. The list of owners and trainers is being certified to a national association to conduct the election.  In order to receive a ballot you must qualify as a trainer or own the required percentage of a thoroughbred horse.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Bill Lagorio for assistance with your comments to the Gaming Commission strongly opposing the elimination of the words “majority of ” language from the regulations and definitions. See you at the meeting after the comment period close.

posted by ” down the stretch ”







  1. addy says:

    Very happy to welcome all the protesters and all the members that where thrown out of the hbpa for voicing there opinion. The MassTHA is all about getting more racing and we are in the majority now, your voices will be heard.

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