01/14/2015 4:01PM

National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association CEO stepping down


Phil Hanrahan is stepping down from his position as chief executive officer of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association in mid-February, the organization said on Wednesday.

Hanrahan will step down at the conclusion of the National HBPA’s winter convention in Carefree, Ariz., which runs from Feb. 4-8, the NHBPA said. Hanrahan, an army officer and attorney who briefly worked as a trainer, was hired by the National HBPA as its chief executive three years ago. He retired from the military in 2009 after rising to the rank of brigadier general and receiving his master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.

“While there are many racing-related issues that will continue to be worked on after my departure, I believe we are moving in in the right direction for horsemen and women in North America,” Hanrahan said in a release. “It has been my pleasure to work with the leadership of the NHBPA and its affiliates.”

During his tenure, the National HBPA worked closely with many industry groups on developing model rules for medication use. The discussions on the rules generated an intense amount of debate among racing constituents, frequently leading to divisions within horsemen and between the National HBPA and other industry factions.

“Phil has been an invaluable asset to the National HBPA,” said Robin Richard, the president of the organization, in a statement. “He has always demonstrated a willingness to cultivate what is in the best interest of horsemen and women, and just as importantly, strived for the health, safety, and integrity of the horses with which we work.”

The National HBPA will name a successor to Hanrahan through an in-house process, according to Laura Plato, the operations director for the organization, which is based in Lexington, Ky.