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President Bill White and several Directors of the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association held a meeting at the Ocala Hilton on January 24, 2017 to provide Central Florida horsemen an update on several important matters that the FHBPA has been, and continues to address on behalf of its membership.
The audience of 50 plus horsemen also numbered members of the FTBOA Breeders’ Association, including its President and several of its Board Members. A buffet dinner was provided.
“I am impressed with the continued turn out. I think it’s important that we continue to reach out to the Ocala area and give the horsemen access to us,” said President White.
The members were welcomed with opening remarks from President White followed by a description of the upcoming FHBPA election by Director Daryl Clark who chairs the Election Committee. Ballots for this year’s election will be mailed out by February 8 and, for the first time, members will be able to vote either by mail or electronically online.
A description of the legislative agenda for the upcoming year was given by FHBPA Vice President and Legislative Committee Chairman Chester Bishop. Assisted by the FHBPA’s new lobbying firm of Corcoran & Johnston, the FHBPA will continue the battle to prevent decoupling in Florida while ensuring maximum racing opportunities and purses at our tracks.

FHBPA Director Daryl Clark

That was followed by an overview of the recently and successfully concluded purse contract between the FHBPA and Gulfstream Park by Executive Director Glen Berman. The 2017 contract includes the creation a new stakes series of ten $100,000 races during the Non-Championship Season and the elimination of that Season’s existing overpayment. FHBPA Director David Fawkes also joined the speakers and participated in the follow-up discussions.
The FHBPA, as is its practice, opened the floor up to questions and responded candidly to all of them from all members of the audience. The meeting lasted more than three hours.
“This again was an opportunity for the FHBPA to meet with our membership in the Ocala area,” added White. “These meetings allow our members to hear directly from us. Most importantly, it is a vehicle for us to listen and learn about their concerns.”
Another FHBPA meeting in the Ocala area will be scheduled in the spring after the Legislative Session.