Five Appointed to KY Racing Authority

The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has five new members.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has appointed five state residents to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to fill a vacancy or expired terms.

Beshear, a Democrat, had been expected to announce new appointments several weeks ago. The appointees were named in an April 28 release from the governor’s office.

The new members of the KHRA, which falls under the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, are Alan Leavitt, Edward “Ned” Bonnie, Foster Northrop, Elizabeth Lavin, and Robert Beck Jr.

Leavitt, a Standardbred breeder and owner of Walnut Hall Ltd., serves as president of the Kentucky Standardbred Breeders Association. He has served as a member of the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council. Leavitt replaces Kenneth Jackson, whose term has expired; Leavitt’s term expires Jan. 6, 2011.

Bonnie is a retired attorney from Frost Brown and Todd, where he served as a counsel for equine law. Bonnie also has been a member of the equine drug council. His appointment fills a vacancy, and his term expires. Jan. 6, 2011.

Northrop is a veterinarian specifying in equine practice for Cheney & Northrop in Lexington. He replaces Larry Telle, whose term has expired. Northrop’s term expires Jan. 6, 2011.

Lavin is secretary and treasurer of Longfield Farm. She has also served as a board member of the Oldham County Equine Council. She replaces Thomas Gaines, whose term expired. Lavin’s term expires Jan. 6, 2011.

Beck is an attorney at Stites & Harbison. He is founder, director, and president of the American College of Equine Attorneys. Beck replaces KHRA chairman Bill Street and will serve as chairman. He will serve the remainder of the unexpired term that ends Jan. 6, 2010.

Beshear has allowed the appointment process to run its course via vacancies and expired terms. When his predecessor, Republican Ernie Fletcher, took office, he quickly scrapped the Kentucky Racing Commission, created the KHRA, and appointed 13 new members.

There has been no word on appointments to the equine drug council, which makes recommendations to the KHRA. The drug council hasn't met since last year.