Deerfield Beach, FL — Harness Horsemen International’s annual meetings concluded after four days on Feb. 24 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Deerfield Beach, Fla. The meeting covered numerous topics, highlighted by an in-depth review of the Federal Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). Mike Tanner, United States Trotting Association Executive Vice-President, presented USTA President Russell Williams’ speech and responded to questions from the audience.
The delegates voted unanimously to support the USTA’s continued legal challenge to this statute based on constitutional defects.
A terrific panel discussion focusing on how to maximize handle via post times was led by co-hosts Gabe Prewitt, Director of Racing for Caesars Entertainment, and John Hensley, Director of Racing and Sports Wagering for Bally’s Dover Downs.
In addition, each of HHI’s member associations, along with each of HHI’s standing committees, presented reports.
HHI elections saw Ron Battoni, former Executive Director of the Pennsylvania HHA, elected President, after acting HHI President Tom Luchento, who served ably for many years, announced his retirement. New to the HHI Board is At-Large Director Cathy Dessert of Minnesota Harness Racing Inc. All other Board members were re-elected: Kim Hankins, 1st V.P., Tony Somone, 2nd V.P., Sal DiMario, Secretary, and Andrew Markano, Treasurer. At-Large Directors include Aaron Hall, Paul London, and Mike Harant.
HHI also honored the following: Russell Williams, Dominic Frinzi Person of the Year; Pennsylvania Rep. George Dunbar, Appreciation Award; Evan Pattak, Clyde Hirt Media Award.
HHI thanks our sponsors: Bally’s Dover Downs, Dover, Del.; Harrington Raceway & Casino, Harrington, Del.; Smith Brothers Insurance, Glastonbury, Conn.; Miller’s Feed and Hay, Hartley, Del.; T.G. Adams & Sons, Inc., Bridgeville, Del.; Bart Cavanagh/Kim Vincent, Media, Pa.; Hay Where’s That Inc., Wyoming, Del.; Fred J. O’Neal Jr. Inc., Del.; Gutt Wizard, LLC, Felton, Del.; Victor Kirby, Milford, Del.; Sugar Run Farm, Frankford, Del.; James and Joann King Jr., Harrington, Del.; Safe Haven Farm, Ellendale, Del.; George, Montrell, and Brenda Teague, and Clyde Francis, Harrington and Houston, Del.