On May 3, we reported that the members of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association had voted on a critical bylaw change that portended a dramatic regime change. Currently the president and vice president of the MTHA are elected by the Board, not the general membership. The MTHA operates like a union, negotiating contracts worth, over the years, millions and millions of dollars. Hoffberger (who once quipped to this publisher that we could just call him “King Richard”) has kept an iron-fisted grip on the organization for the last 27 years. To be fair, many people (including some of those agitating for change) credit Hoffberger with accomplishing many things on behalf of the horsemen. However, after 27 years under just one president, the members clearly expressed that they were ready for a change of leadership with their vote to change the bylaws.
At this point, many thought “game over,” that this was it for Hoffberger and there was going to be a new regime, a rebirth, an MTHA spring! However, in our closing paragraph we warned our readers: “let’s not count Hoffberger out yet.” And we were right.
On Monday, May 7, according to various sources, the MTHA Board of Directors had a closed meeting during which Alan Foreman, the attorney for MTHA, advised the directors that the procedure for the April 30 general membership vote was flawed. As a result, the majority of Board members voted to invalidate the general membership’s vote to change the bylaws.
The Board will reportedly proceed with another vote, this time a paper ballot mailed to all the members, including trainers licensed in Maryland but residing in other states. This should still be interesting, as the greater general membership could vote to maintain the bylaws as they are (with the Board selecting the president and vice president), or the greater general membership could reinforce the original vote by an even greater margin than that on April 30. Again, stay tuned! And remember: never underestimate Mr. Hoffberger.
For more details, please see That’s Amore’s News Blog:
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