National HBPA Has Contested Races for Top Officers

With its election of officers looming July 13, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has races for both president and vice president. In addition, the question of whether the position of chairman of the board would continue to have voting rights figures to come up for discussion.

The current president and vice president are John Roark, president of the Texas Horsemen's Partnership, and Larry Riviello, president of the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, respectively. They are running again for two-year terms. Linda Mills, president of the Florida HBPA is running for president, and Dick Watson, president of the Charles Town HBPA, is running for vice president.

Traditionally, there is no slate of officers. Each position is voted on separately. Winners are determined by weighted votes cast by affiliate presidents. The weight of each vote is determined by the annual dues structure; for instance, the Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Philadelphia Park and Texas affiliates each pay $25,000 a year and carry more weight in the voting process.

There has been discussion in the past about dropping the position of chairman of the board as a voting position. In fact, a proposed set of revised bylaws that will be discussed July 13 strips the position from the list of officers and instead reads that a chairman of the board emeritus may be appointed by the board of directors. The current chairman of the board is Dr. Ed Hagan of Oregon.