History

About the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (HBPA)

In the early years, the sport of horse racing seemed simpler. There was no simulcasting, discussion of appropriate marketing strategies, super testing, or betting via direct computer links. At the time there were no organizations know today merely by acronyms such as the THA, TOC, KTA, TOBA, UTTA, AQHA that represented horsemen’s interests.

Horsemen have a habit of taking care of their own. If someone was sick or down on his luck, they “passed the hat” taking up collections. It was during the year 1940 in New England that a group of committed horsemen brought into existence what is now known as the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. The founding group included such names as Irv Gushen, Doug Davis, John Manfuso, Dr. Alex Harthill, Johnny McDowell, Mort Wolfson, and Jack DeFee. From this meager beginning the HBPA has developed into an organization representing the horsemen’s interests on a myriad of issues.

Today there are over 35,000 thoroughbred Owner and/or Trainer members throughout the United States and Canada focused on a common goal — the betterment of racing on all levels and collectively adopting the following mission statement:

“We are committed to the future of horse racing; – We are horsemen who have one horse and a dream; – We are horsemen who spend millions of dollars; – We are horsemen who race throughout the country; – We are Owners, Breeders, and Trainers. Big and small, young and old; from one end of the country to the other — we horsemen are the HBPA. We are Horsemen Helping Horsemen.”

In order to take an active role in the direction and policies of the organization we recommend all thoroughbred horsepeople notify the Association when they become licensed as an Owner and/or Trainer in the Province of Ontario.

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