BREEDERS’ CUP ELECTION RESULTS: ‘NO’ TO STATUS QUO

by | 11.17.2010 | 12:47am

By Ray Paulick

(UPDATED: 6:30 p.m.)

Three of the four incumbent Directors of the 13-member Breeders' Cup board did not receive enough support from their fellow Members and Trustees to retain their positions in an election that culminated with an annual meeting today at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

Re-elected to a two-year term on the board of Directors was Robert Manfuso of Maryland's Chanceland Farm and a former investor in the Maryland Jockey Club racetracks. Newly elected to the board were five individuals: Tom Ludt of Vinery; Clem Murphy of Coolmore/Ashford; Richard Santulli of Jayeff “B” Stables; Oliver Tait of Darley; and Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made Farms and Sales Agency. Incumbents Reynolds Bell Jr., G. Watts Humphrey, and Don Robinson failed in their bids for re-election. The other candidate not receiving enough votes was John Sikura of Hill 'n' Dale Farms, a board candidate for the second consecutive year.

In last month's election of Breeders' Cup Members and Trustees, two individuals on the board of Directors, Donald Dizney and Tracy Farmer, failed to be re-elected and were thus ineligible to run for re-election on the smaller board of Directors. Thus, five of six incumbents on the board of Directors failed to be re-elected.

The 48 Members and Trustees, past presidents and current officers of the Breeders' Cup  had the option of voting online from July 1-8 or in person at today's meeting, during which a presentation was made by William Field of the international consulting firm, Value Partners, on behalf of the Strategic Planning Committee that has been drafting a 10-year plan for the organization. 

Vote totals were not provided for the board of Directors election, despite assurances to the Paulick Report in May by Breeders' Cup president Greg Avioli that results to both the Members and Trustees and board of Directors elections would include the number of votes every candidate received. Following the Members and Trustees election in June, Breeders' Cup only released the number of votes received by the winning candidates, not by those who failed to be elected. Avioli declined to comment when asked about today's board of Directors election results.

Following the meeting of the Members and Trustees, the newly-named board of Directors met and re-elected Bill Farish to a one-year term as chairman of the board. Manfuso was elected vice chairman, replacing R.D. Hubbard in that position. Hubbard is one of the seven other board members, along with Helen Alexander, Antony Beck, Farish, Terry Finley, Roy Jackson, and Satish Sanan  (their terms expire in 2010).

The other officers re-elected to one-year terms were Avioli, president, and Matthew Lutz, treasurer. Robert Watt, an attorney who has represented the Breeders' Cup in the past, was elected to the post of secretary, replacing James A. Philpott Jr., who resigned after serving in that post since 1983. 

The board unanimously approved the following Committee Chair appointments:
Audit and Finance Committee – Oliver Tait; Investment Committee – Richard Santulli; Compensation Committee – Satish Sanan; Host Site Committee – R.D. Hubbard; Racing and Nominations Committee – Clem Murphy; Marketing – Roy Jackson 
The Breeders' Cup will host a teleconference for its nominators and the media with Value Partners at 2 p.m. (EDT) Friday, July 10, to review the recommendations of the strategic plan in greater detail.


“Our five new Directors comprise an outstanding group of individuals with knowledge and expertise that will be vital to the Breeders’ Cup in the opportunities before us.” chairman Farish said in a statement. “We also express our sincere thanks to Reynolds Bell, Watts Humphrey and Don Robinson for their excellent and distinguished service to the board.”

Humphrey, a partner of Farish's father, Will Farish, in numerous ventures at the Farishes' Lane's End Farm, has been a Breeders' Cup board member for many years and was a member of the Executive Committee that essentially ran the organization prior to its decision to allow nominators (beginning to 2006) to elect a board of Members and Trustees, who in turn vote for the board of Directors. Bell, a bloodstock agent with close ties to Lane's End, had been rumored to be Bill Farish's preferred candidate to replace him as chairman if Farish serves the maximum of five years in that position. He was re-elected today to his fourth year as chairman.

Copyright © 2009, The Paulick Report

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