The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has announced the new and re-elected members of its board of directors after votes were tallied March 15.
On the owner side, Bill White and Tom Cannell were re-elected to the board, while Herb Oster and Joanie Needell, who will serve in the capacity as first alternate, are new members. On the trainer side, David Fawkes and Phil Combest were re-elected, while former board member Carlo Vaccarezza returns to serve as second alternate.
The complete board will meet March 24 to elect a president and select committee chairs.
The vote count was handled by an external accounting firm and was supervised by Florida HBPA Elections Committee chairman Marcus Vitali along with committee members Daryl Clark, Larry Bates, and Steve DiMauro. Florida HBPA vice president and secretary Kathy Davey was on hand for the tabulation process along with Florida HBPA executive director Glen Berman and board member Steve Screnci.
"I'm confident our new members and returning ones will leave the starting gate on their toes for the amount of action we expect after our hard-fought short reprieve from the threat of decoupling," Vitali said.
The Florida HBPA is a member of United Florida Horsemen, which opposed efforts by some state lawmakers and pari-mutuel facilities to pass legislation that would remove live racing requirements for racetracks that offer slot machines or card rooms. The effort failed this year but is expected to be revisited in 2017.