Michael F. Horning

Michael Horning’s family has been actively involved in breeding and racing horses in Maryland for 55 years. His late father, breeder-owner Larry Sr., served on the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Board of Directors as an owner representative, while his brother, Larry Jr., was a licensed Maryland trainer for more than 30 years.

A graduate of John Carroll University with a degree in accounting, Michael is a CPA who became audit senior manager at Deloitte Touche. For 30 years he was the chief financial officer at two different property and casualty insurance companies.

Michael is married to Debbie (Komlo) Horning, daughter of longtime Maryland trainer William Komlo, and they race their horses as M and D Stable.

The couple, who live in Potomac and have three grown children, have horses in training and broodmares, all of which are Maryland-breds. Two home-breds were stakes winners: Eyeplayeveryday and Debbie’s Tude.

Elected in 2011, Michael was a member of the MTHA board that struck the 10-year agreement with the Maryland Jockey Club that provided stability in the racing industry and encouraged cooperation among all industry stakeholders. He feels his almost 40 years of financial expertise and over a decade of service on the MTHA Board will be invaluable in assisting the MTHA and Maryland racing as it finds itself in a perilous situation that endangers the future of both racing and breeding in Maryland.

“The future of the Maryland racing industry is very uncertain at this time,” Michael said. He noted the importance of the MTHA’s annual lobbying efforts in Annapolis, and said a priority remains maintaining the industry’s share of casino video lottery revenue, which represents about two-thirds of the funds in the Thoroughbred Purse Account.

“With increasing pressure on the Purse Account to subsidize 1/ST Racing’s operations, the industry can ill afford to have any reduction in those revenues, and they must be protected,” Michael said. “Future plans to stabilize Maryland racing may also require legislative assistance, although it is unlikely the current legislature will be receptive to any revenue enhancements for the industry.”

As Chairman of the MTHA Finance Committee, Michael has directed the oversight of the annual financial statement audits of the MTHA and association’s funds, and oversees the selection process and performance of investment advisers for the MTHA’s investments and those of the backstretch and employee pension plans.

“A priority is promoting the health, welfare and benefits of backstretch workers,” Michael said. “We need to make sure we provide the best benefits we can to those who are taking care of our horses.”