10/16/2007 12:00AM

West Virginia reinstates owner

EmailAn arbiter ruled Tuesday that Randy Funkhouser, a West Virginia owner and president of the West Virginia Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, should have his owner's license reinstated, according to Funkhouser's attorney.

The ruling by the arbiter, attorney Oscar Bean, will allow Funkhouser to enter horses in Saturday's West Virginia Breeders Classics program at Charles Town.

"All claims are resolved," said David Hammer, Funkhouser's attorney.

Early in October, the West Virginia Racing Commission suspended Funkhouser's owner's license after he was accused of improperly influencing racing officials. The accusations arose because of a letter Funkhouser sent to the commission requesting that a horse in the July 4 Charles Town Dash Invitational be scratched because of the horse's alleged ineligibility to race.

The commission scratched the horse, Forest Park, and Funkhouser's horse, Confucius Say, won the race.

This fall, the owner of Forest Park, Dan Ryan, asked the commission to look into Funkhouser's role in the matter, claiming Forest Park was eligible to run in the stakes. The commission suspended Funkhouser's license, but a circuit court judge ruled last Monday that the issue should be resolved by an arbiter approved by each side.

The arbiter's ruling is final, with no chance of appeal, Hammer said, as part of the agreement.

Calls to the West Virginia Racing Commission late Tuesday were not returned.