by | 11.17.2010 | 12:47am

By Ray Paulick

Terry McElfresh, senior vice president of NTRA Advantage, the group purchasing division of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association he has directed since 2007, tendered his resignation last week, multiple sources have told the Paulick Report.

McElfresh's apparent resignation came just one week after NTRA Advantage announced first-quarter sales of $16.2 million, a 114% increase over 2009. An NTRA press release said a 124% increase in the sale of John Deere equipment paced the upswing and that early second-quarter sales of John Deere equipment are even stronger.

However, sources told the Paulick Report some of those sales may have fallen outside the terms of NTRA Advantage's contract with John Deere and that the tractor supply company raised questions about who was receiving discounts of up to 23% on the company's equipment. Discounts are limited to members of the NTRA and a number of other horse industry organizations, including American Quarter Horse Association, U.S. Trotting Association, U.S. Equestrian Federation, U.S. Polo Association, and the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

Word of McElfresh's resignation comes on the heels of a decision by Churchill Downs Inc. not to renew the NTRA membership of its tracks: flagship Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Arlington Park in suburban Chicago, Fair Grounds in New Orleans and Calder in Miami.

McElfresh  could not be reached for comment, nor could Alex Waldrop, the NTRA's chief executive officer.

Copyright © 2010, Ray Paulick

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