The Indiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is conducting a special election to fill the office of president and each of 10 board seats. The election comes in response to dissention among the membership after four elected officials were removed last November for allegedly violating the organization's bylaws.
Ballots were mailed in late October, and the election closes Nov. 18.
"This is a brand new election. It was a new nomination process," Indiana HBPA executive director Don Kubovchik said. "Some people were unhappy that people were removed from the board. In order to stop the dissention, we're conducting a new election."
On Nov. 1, 2005 the Indiana HBPA elected officers to a three-year term, but two weeks later, president Jim Riddle and three board members were removed in a 6-5 vote. The removal of the four newly-elected officials stemmed from allegations that they had broken bylaws regarding campaigning.
An appeal by three of the four removed members was brought to the National HBPA on Jan. 24, and the executive committee ruled in their favor, offering to help conduct a new election. The Indiana HBPA, not bound by any decision passed down from the executive committee, wasn't interested in conducting a new election at the time.
Now, all 11 seats are up for election--one seat for president, five board seats reserved for owners, and five for owner/trainers. Riddle will again vie for president of the organization. His opponent is Randy Klopp, who replaced him upon his removal last November. Those elected will serve a three-year term in accordance with Indiana HBPA bylaws.
"The board will sit before the Hoosier Park meet ends," Kubovchik said.
The Indiana HBPA represents Thoroughbred horsemen at Indiana Downs, which races from late April through June, and Hoosier Park, which races from September through November.