01/06/2015 1:32PM

Finley formally contests N.Y. horsemen's group election


Terry Finley, the founder of West Point Thoroughbreds, has filed an official complaint with the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association contesting the results of a recent election for NYTHA president, alleging that the association did not properly follow election protocols and failed to identify its voting members.

The complaint, written by attorney Christopher Green of the New York law firm Boies, Schiller, and Flexner, was required to be filed by Jan. 5 as part of Finley’s formal appeal of the election result. Finley lost the election to the incumbent, Richard Violette, by a count of 625-611, according to NYTHA.

The complaint alleges that NYTHA did not maintain adequate records of the people who were eligible to vote in the election, and it includes signed affidavits from owners who said that they were not properly notified of their eligibility to vote or did not receive ballots. The complaint further alleges that members of other horsemen’s organizations affiliated with a national group representing NYTHA improperly lobbied on behalf of Violette.

The filing of the formal complaint is the first step in a four-step process that the NYTHA board approved to handle Finley’s appeal. Violette and other “interested parties” will have until Jan. 16 to file their response to Finley’s objections. A closed-door hearing of the NYTHA board is scheduled for Feb. 10 to deliberate on the filings.

Finley also has objected to the appeals process, saying that it prevents him from reviewing membership rosters or calling witnesses to his defense.