12/10/2014 12:17PM

Finley contests outcome of election in N.Y. horsemen's group


After initially saying he would not contest the result, Terry Finley said Wednesday he has filed a protest with the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association over the presidential election he lost by 14 votes to incumbent Rick Violette.

Finley, who said he filed the protest Monday, said he is seeking “to have a whole new election.”

“I filed a protest this week after hearing from a really large number of NYTHA members who either never got ballots or got them so late they couldn’t return them and thus weren’t given the chance to have their voices heard,” Finley said. “I simply felt I owed it to the owners and trainers who race in New York and stand up and say to NYTHA we need to hold fair, independent elections.”

Last week, it was announced that Finley had lost the election to Violette, 625-611. The vote total was provided by both Finley and Violette. The NYTHA would not release the vote total.

“One of the big reasons why I ran in this election was to increase the transparency and integrity of the organization, and I think their conduct of this election is a prime example of why that reform is needed so badly,” Finley said.

Finley, a NYTHA board member from 2005-08, said he has asked the NYTHA for election guidelines “since the first day I decided to run. Either they don’t have them, which is terrible, or they’re not providing them to me.”

The decision to contest the vote is an about-face for Finley, who heads the ownership syndicate West Point Thoroughbreds. On Dec. 3, the day after the results were announced, Finley told Daily Racing Form that despite the close margin of defeat, he would not contest the vote because “it wouldn’t be productive for horsemen, owners, or breeders in New York. I honestly believe that.”

The NYTHA did not respond to inquiries about the protocols for an appeal.