Editor’s Note: The following is a press release submitted by Tom Luchento, the president of Harness Horsemen’s International. The views contained in this article are that of the author alone, and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of the United States Trotting Association.
Burlington, NJ — My name is Tom Luchento, most of you know, I am President of Harness Horsemen’s International.
I would like to take this time to speak to you about a problem that has recently come to my attention. By now, most of you probably have heard about it, but for those who haven’t, please let me explain. In order to be respectful, I will not mention names or places, but rather speak to the issue.
As I write this, there is an ongoing fight caused by a racetrack management and two horsemen’s organizations. At this particular time the racetrack is dividing health and welfare monies to two horsemen’s organizations from funds dedicated to the horsemen. Currently these two horsemen’s organizations co-exist representing horsemen at different racetracks. Each provides health and welfare benefits from funds dedicated for that purpose.
Recently, the track has decided to choose one group over the other. Now, if this were the opinion of both organizations it maybe alright, but that decision belongs to the horsemen they represent, not the racetrack. In today’s democratic societies horsemen must be allowed to be governed by the people that they have freely elected. There must be acknowledgement of a democratically elected and legitimate horsemen’s association. This action is a detriment to every horsemen’s organization, which has the inherent right to elect their representatives.
When horsemen fail to stand together united against a tyrannical management who is trying to eliminate bona fide elected officials representing the men and women that they were elected to represent, all horsemen suffer. I implore all horsemen’s organizations to not let this happen in your jurisdictions, for if we stand united, no one can tear us apart. At our upcoming annual meeting in Florida later this month, we will discuss this issue in greater depth.
Thank you, I remain,