12/30/2011 1:47PM

TOC approves change allowing owner-trainers to vote, stand on board

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ARCADIA, Calif. – The membership of the Thoroughbred Owners of California has approved changes to its bylaws allowing owner-trainers and their spouses the right to vote and permitting the organization to hold an election that could expand the number of owner-trainers on the board of directors.

Voting on the bylaw changes ends Wednesday, but a press release published on the organization’s website earlier this week stated that 95 percent of the 1,265 returned ballots approved the change, and that “it is clear that the ballot question will be approved.”

The vote is part of an agreement reached in November between the TOC and officials with the upstart California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association regarding greater representation on the TOC board for owner-trainers. For a time in 2011, the CTHA sought to overtake the TOC as the state’s official representative of Thoroughbred horsemen.

The terms of the November agreement stated that the number of owner-trainers on the 15-person TOC board could be increased from three to six. The election will begin in February, following the nomination of 15 candidates by the TOC and a list of candidates nominated by the CTHA. Other interested individuals can be included on the ballot by petition after gaining 50 valid signatures.

Results of the election will be released in April, according to TOC president Lou Raffetto.