12/15/2005 12:00AM

Ohio horsemen oust president


The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has removed Gus George as its president as a result of disputes between George and the organization's board of directors, according to the group's executive director.

George was removed in a two-thirds majority vote by the horsemen's board. The board then unanimously elected its vice president, Jim Yaegel, to serve as president for the remainder of George's term, which runs through next fall.

Dan Theno, the group's executive director, said the action came after months of infighting between George and other board members.

"Many members of the board said that Gus George has been dedicated to horsemen and sport of Thoroughbred racing," Theno said. "Unfortunately, the differences between Mr. George and the board of directors could not be resolved. The board decided that it was in the best interest of Ohio horsemen and Thoroughbred racing to take this action."

The Ohio horsemen's group has unsuccessfully lobbied the state legislature over the past several years to allow slot machines at the state's three Thoroughbred racetracks. Earlier this year the horsemen's group agreed to date reductions at Beulah, River Downs, and Thistledown for 2006 in an effort to increase the average daily purse structure at the tracks.