Leading California Thoroughbred owner Robert Lewis said he and Trudy McCaffery will be forced to resign from the Thoroughbred Owners of California board of directors after the California Horse Racing Board refused to waive a rule prohibiting horsemen's organization representatives from also serving on racing association boards.
Lewis and McCaffery recently accepted posts on the Oak Tree Association board of directors.
The waiver of the CHRB rule, requested Sept. 18 by John Van de Kamp, president of the TOC, that would have allowed the two well-known owners to serve on both boards simultaneously, died for lack of a motion. Lewis told the board he and McCaffery had decided that they would leave the TOC board if the waiver was not approved.
The potential conflict of interest over contractual agreements between the horsemen's group and the racing association was cited by some CHRB members as a reason not to support the move.
"I'm not convinced there's an immediate need to waive this rule," said commissioner John Sperry.
"We have a rule and with some regret, I would urge the board to uphold it," commissioner Alan Landsburg said.