FTBOA Names Board Members

Bobby Jones and Dr. Fred Yutani have been named to the FTBOA board.

Bobby Jones and Dr. Fred Yutani, both of Ocala, Fla., have been named to the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association board of directors while Barry Berkelhammer, Gil Campbell and Greg Wheeler,  return to the board, it was confirmed at the FTBOA annual meeting Thursday. Each of them will serve three-year terms that will run through 2020.

Leaving the board because of term limits outlined in the FTBOA by-laws were Diane Parks and George Russell.

Brent Fernung was also re-elected as the president of the Association at the board meeting that followed. He said he was grateful to return as president and welcomed the two new board members.

"I am very happy and very honored to be re-elected president," Fernung said. "We are also proud to welcome to the board Mr. Jones and Dr. Yutani and welcome back Mr. Berkelhammer, Mr. Campbell and Mr. Wheeler.

"While the FTBOA has had many significant accomplishments in recent years, such as increasing breeder and stallion awards to all-time high levels, we will be looking for the leadership skills, forethought and other assets from all board members in order to meet the challenges that face our Florida Thoroughbred industry on a legislative basis as well at the tracks and on the farm."

The board also named the executive committee for 2017-18 with Fernung as president while Phil Matthews, DVM was named first vice president and Joseph M. O'Farrell III was named second vice president. Greg Wheeler will serve as treasurer and George Isaacs as secretary. George Russell will also serve on the executive committee as immediate past president.

Fernung and his wife, Crystal, own and operate Journeyman Stud, which was home to the late Wildcat Heir, Florida's leading sire. Journeyman Stud now stands Exclusive Quality, Fury Kapcori, Gentlemen's Bet, Khozan and Winslow Homer. Fernung began his career at Lasater Farm during its heyday in the late 1970s and was there through 1984. Fernung also served as farm manager at Franks Farm/Southland Division and was the general manager at Cloverleaf. The Fernungs established Journeyman Bloodstock in 1989. Fernung also serves on the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company board and is currently chairman of the FTBOA governance committee.

Bobby Jones has been a mainstay in the thoroughbred community in Ocala for more than 30 years and has served some 25 years with the Florida Farm Managers Club. He served as president for 10 years and has currently served as chairman of the board for the last eight years. He also served on the board of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association from 2000 through 2003.

Jones is currently the owner and manager of Bobby Jones Equine, LLC, a 36-acre Thoroughbred farm where he keeps between 10-12 broodmares for breeding in the thoroughbred commercial market. He also conducts sales preparation and consigns Thoroughbreds of all ages at public auction. He also offers boarding, foaling, breeding, breaking, training, and rehabilitations, which are all enhanced by the swimming facilities located on the farm. Jones also offers bloodstock services with pedigree analysis for clients in search of stallion and broodmare mating consultations.

Dr. Yutani was born in California, raised in Detroit and attended high school in California. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Southern California and graduated from the George Washington University Medical School. He did his post graduate training at the Cleveland Clinic and served two years as a doctor in the United States Army. He is married to Sara Lynn whom he met in Washington DC.

Yutani and his wife came to Ocala and Marion County in 1972, drawn by the climate and horses with a desire to not raise their children in a big city and started his medical practice in Internal Medicine at the same time. In a familiar story, they had pleasure horses initially and their three children (Kevin, Marti and Tommi) each showed hunters through high school. An interest developed in Thoroughbreds and they became breeders around 1983.

Over the years Sara became a licensed horse trainer, so, in addition to breeding, training was added to their program. Most of the horses were sold as 2-year-olds in training. Of the horses sold, they were breeders or co-breeders of stakes horses such as My Nichole, who won the Desert Vixen Stakes and was the dam of Three Ring, multiple stakes winning Daisies and Nites, stakes winner Right This Way, Group 3-placed Oh Mambo Girl and Stonyer, the 2-year-old and 3-year-old imported horse of the year in Puerto Rico. Horses trained and resold include Imawildandcrazyguy, who was fourth in the 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) and Able Buck, who was second in the Withers (G2). Occasionally they race and currently campaign winner Rainy Night.

Berkelhammer has been an FTBOA member for more than 30 years and the owner of AbraCadabra Farms near Ocala which he founded in 1982. He has excelled in all facets of the industry, from breeding and raising foals to the sales ring and at the racetrack. AbraCadabra Farms began as a modest 20-acre thoroughbred facility. With success came the need for expansion and in 1996, Berkelhammer and longtime associate Gary Mottola purchased the former Lucas Farm on 150 acres in south Marion County.

Today, a premier training facility on 240 acres, AbraCadabra Farms has consistently turned out some of the best racehorses in the country including five Kentucky Derby and six Breeders' Cup contenders. Top graduates from their program include 30 Graded stakes performers and winners of more than $22 million.

Some of the more notable horses to have gone through the program include Bradester, Warbling, Ashado, Harlan's Holiday, Octave, Aubby K, JJ's Dream, Dance to Bristol, Street Girl, More Chocolate and R Free Roll.

Campbell has been involved in the Thoroughbred industry since 1982 and has bred/raced 75 stakes winners (through 2016) including multiple graded winners Marlin, winner of the 1996 Arlington Million, millionaire Blazing Sword, Ivanavinalot, Friel's For Real, This Ones for Phil, Ryan's for Real and Watch Me Go.

In 1997, 2013 and in 2016, Campbell was honored as Florida Breeder of the Year by the FTBOA and nationally as the 1997 Outstanding Owner/Breeder of the Year by TOBA and regionally by TOBA in 2013 and 2016. In 2013, Campbell led all Florida breeders with more than $3.4 million in earnings, stakes winners (8), stakes wins (13) and wins (130). In 2016, Campbell led all Florida breeders again with more than $2.7 million in earnings, five stakes winners and 91 wins. Campbell has been a Top 10 Florida breeder by Florida-bred earnings annually since 1996. A big supporter of the FSS program, he won five of six races in 2013 with Scandalous Act and My Brown Eyed Guy.

Campbell owns Stonehedge Farm South in Williston, Fla., where he stands Factum and Revolving. He served as FTBOA President in 2007-10 and is currently on the Board and Racing/Stakes Committee.

Campbell lives with his wife, Marilyn in Tyngsboro, Mass., and is a real estate developer based in Lowell, Mass.

Wheeler, a second generation Floridian, and his wife Donna moved to Ocala in 2003 because of their passion for horses and for their daughter, Dana, who was showing an "off track" thoroughbred. Four months later, they purchased a yearling at the OBS January sale.

The Wheelers currently own and operate BridleOaks Farm, Inc., in Ocala where they have a broodmare band of six. They mostly raise commercial thoroughbreds but also keep a small lot for racing.

The Wheelers bred Jordy Y in Florida out of the first crop of Congrats. Jordy Y was second in the 2010 Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes (G3) and third in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1) before starting in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) won by Florida-bred Awesome Feather. They also bred Valery Stripe, a Florida-bred graded stakes winner in Puerto Rico.

Greg holds an M.S. in Physical Therapy and was the co-founder and partner of Moving Forward Rehabilitation, Inc. He has served on the banquet/fundraising committee for Ducks Unlimited. He is also the chairman of the FTBOA Charity/Outreach committee playing a vital role in fundraising for student scholarships and thoroughbred retirement.

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