The election of trainer Tim Keefe as only the third President in Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association history, coupled with the election of seven new members to the MTHA’s Board of Directors appears to signal a new, more inclusive direction for MTHA leadership. After being elected President, Keefe was excited about the organization’s future.
“I think the new Board is very energetic,” he said. “Everyone is looking forward to adding their own input and is anxious to get started.”
The Sept. 4 meeting - at which Officers were elected - was the first since the Board of Directors was chosen in an election which saw unprecedented voting with over 25 percent of the MTHA membership casting a ballot.
Joining Keefe on the Officers roster is founding member Linda Gaudet and R. Larry Johnson as Vice Presidents, as well as Michael Horning as Treasurer.
The Officer positions aren’t ceremonial. Each will oversee most of the functions of the Association. Gaudet will head a Committee tasked with overseeing all racing and welfare related issues. Johnson will head a Committee in charge of oversight of the relations between industry stakeholders. Horning will manage financial duties related to the internal finance and governance of the Association.
Keefe replaces outgoing President Richard J. Meyer, who served in this capacity since 2012. Meyer replaced Richard Hoffberger, who had held the position since the Organization’s founding in 1987.
“I very much appreciate the leadership and service of past Presidents Meyer and Hoffberger,” remarked Keefe. “I look forward to our new direction which builds upon a strong foundation of representing horsemen for the past 27 years.”
Keefe is one of Maryland’s most successful trainers, having arrived on the scene in 1993. Since then, he has mapped the careers of some of the best horses based in Maryland including Eighttofastocatch, Celtic Innis, Red’s Round Table, Frisky Thunder, Anarex and Goferitstutz.
“I think they might have elected me as a middle-of-the-road guy who sees all sides of the business,” Keefe said.
But Johnson, a Board member for the past three years and the newly elected Vice President, who describes himself as a “very outspoken critic” of past Boards, said there is another reason for Keefe’s election.
“Yes, he’s demonstrated that he’s a hardworking person who is receptive to change and to better cooperation between horsemen and breeders,” Johnson said. “But I think there is more to it than that. He’s a person who has demonstrated a sincere interest in making things better.”
“Making things better” seems to be the underlying building block for this Board as it moves forward.
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