Updated on 03/14/2015 4:09PM

NYTHA rejects Finley's election appeal


The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association has rejected a protest by Terry Finley contesting the results of the organization’s presidential election last December, and confirmed the result that incumbent Rick Violette won a second term.

Violette, a trainer on the New York Racing Association circuit who also has horses in Florida during the winter, won re-election by 14 votes, 625-611. In his appeal of the results, Finley called for a new election based on what he perceived were violations of NYTHA’s bylaws including a contention that many eligible voting members did not receive ballots.

In a 61-page report issued Saturday, the NYTHA Board of Directors -- which consists of 10 members -- concluded that “NYTHA and its staff expended more than reasonable efforts to identify all eligible voters” and that the 1,236 returned ballots represented “the largest turnout for a NYTHA election in many years, if not decades.

“The Board further finds that the efforts of NYTHA and its staff were fair and maintained a level playing field for the candidates. Based on these findings, the Board concludes that none of the objections asserted by Finley has merit and that the result of the election shall be confirmed.”

Finley, the president of the West Point Thoroughbred ownership syndicate, is considering all of his options, including pursuing a legal challenge through the court system.

“The facts indicate that approximately 1,500 owner-members of NYTHA were not provided ballots for the 2014 NYTHA election, which turned on 14 votes,” Christopher Green, the attorney representing Finley wrote in an e-mail. “We are therefore disappointed that the NYTHA board has decided not to hold a new election. Mr. Finley is considering his options, one of which is to ask the New York Supreme Court to review the NYTHA election.  I am confident that if Mr. Finley asks it to, the Supreme Court will require NYTHA to hold a new election using appropriate procedures and a reasonably complete membership roster.”