06/28/2011 3:00PM

Hancock to retire early as executive director of Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners


Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners executive director Dick Hancock will retire early from that position, though he will stay on to aid in the transition to a new executive director, according to FTBOA president Fred Brei.

Hancock had come under fire early this year from a group of FTBOA members who questioned the organization’s direction and the transparency of its operations, including disclosure of its financial records. A meeting with those critics led the FTBOA to announce a thorough review of its finances and policies.

Brei said Tuesday that independent audits have shows no mismanagement of the FTBOA’s finances and that Hancock’s retirement schedule was purely to allow a smooth transition at a time when the FTBOA will need expertise in dealing with the state legislature.

“For our association, I didn’t feel it appropriate for him to stay with his contract right up until the last day, and then we’ve got to have a replacement come in cold at that point, and he’s gone,” Brei said. “So I talked to him about a situation whereby we would start looking soon and, if we found the appropriate person to take his place, they would come in as the executive director and he would step aside from that position and do other things for the organization until his retirement next year.”

Hancock’s contract ends in August 2012. Hancock has proposed to the FTBOA executive committee that he stay full time through December, unless a replacement is on board before then. If a new executive director is in place, Hancock would stay on “in the capacity of formulating legislation.” The proposal, which must be approved by the board, calls for Hancock to scale down to two days a week January through August 2012, when he would retire altogether.

“I can tell you from being extraordinarily involved since becoming president last October that what we are today has been because of Dick’s effort and follow through in getting our programs approved through the legislature for more than 20 years,” Brei said in announcing Hancock’s retirement.