Re-elected on March 24, 2016 to a second term as President of the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association was William P. “Bill” White, who led the organization this past year to defeat what would have been a major overhaul of state pari-mutuel statutes to the detriment of Florida horse racing and breeding operations.
With their supermajority vote propelling him to his second term, the FHBPA Board of Directors recognized White’s unprecedented efforts to galvanize Florida’s Thoroughbred owners and trainers toward a more effective presence in Florida’s tumultuous political scene. Putting the FHBPA at the head of United Florida Horsemen, a legislative advocacy group, White established a substantial and nationwide coalition of Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse and Standardbred interests to educate legislators and represent a spectrum of nearly 350,000 Florida and national horsemen.
Traveling the state to ensure a personal presence at industry and governmental meetings, White also worked closely with FHBPA Vice President Tom Cannell and other Board members to revitalize the FHBPA with the hire of Executive Director Glen Berman, and an overhaul of the FHBPA website and communications efforts to entail a move toward electronic membership management and voting procedures.
Known for his powerful “locker room” speeches, University of South Florida masters graduate White honed his oratory gravitas as a high school teacher and sports coach. But the love of horse racing instilled in him by his grandfather at an early age lured him to the racetrack and he began training horses full-time in South Florida in 1986. One of an elite group of Thoroughbred trainers in history who have won 2,000 races, White’s training prowess also earned him induction into the Calder Race Course Hall of Fame.
The FHBPA will finalize its Committee assignments imminently.