04/10/2011 7:18PM

Rival California horsemen’s groups meet


ARCADIA, Calif. – Representatives of the newly formed California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the Thoroughbred Owners of California met for the first time at Santa Anita on Sunday without a resolution on the CTHA’s request that the TOC change its board of directors to include more owner-trainers.

Roger Licht, a founding member of the CTHA, said the meeting “went well. I don’t know what will come out, but we’ll see.”

The CTHA is seeking a greater voice for trainers on the board of the TOC, the state’s official representative for Thoroughbred horsemen. The TOC was represented at Sunday’s meeting by prominent owner Mike Pegram, a member of the TOC’s board of directors.

“Nothing was decided,” Pegram said of the meeting. “We were looking for common ground. We’re trying to work this thing out, because the industry needs us to and hopefully, we can. If not, the cards will fall where they may.”

Neither Licht nor Pegram elaborated on the discussions, but both said further discussions were possible this week.

The CTHA, formed in late March, is seeking a greater presence for owners-trainers on the TOC board than the current setup of 12 owners and three trainers. Failing that, the CTHA has indicated it will seek to decertify the TOC and become the state’s official representative for Thoroughbred horsemen. The process would take months and involve an election conducted by the California Horse Racing Board.