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Robert S. Fox

NYTHA Board Member from 2002 through 2005

Former Candidate For President of the NYTHA

In 2005, I ran for President of the NYTHA.  The incumbent candidate Richard Bomze was re-elected to the office of President.  The voter turn out was disappointing to me, especially at such a critical time in the history of racing in New York.  I am continuing to work towards instituting the concepts that I ran on a a private horseman.  I am scheduled to be a speaker on the agenda on January 25, 2006 at the New York State meeting regarding the issues of awarding the franchise to operate the race meeting in New York.

For the convenience of horsemen in New York, I have left a few elements of the portion of my website that has relevancy for horsemen.

Platform for the 2006 NYTHA Presidency

I have been around the New York backstretch for over 44 years.  There are a great many significant issues that currently face the horsemen and our industry.  As an extremely active open minded President, I will reach out to all horsemen to learn their point of view on the important problems that confront horsemen in their daily lives and work actively to achieve the goals of our benevolent organization for the membership.  I understand that the primary function of an individual who wishes to run for President or to serve on the Board of Directors is a willingness to make the problems of the membership their problems and to find a way to make things better. 

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association can also provide strong leadership in the positive resolution of a variety of industry wide problems while most importantly attending to the vital local issues facing our horsemen.  However, I am committed to the concept that charity begins at home and that the name of our organization is the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. 

I am somewhat renown for my frankness and so I am now going to layout some important concepts and improvements that in my judgment need to be implemented.  The inadequate improvements in the operation and achievements of the NYTHA in past three years, has inspired me to run for the office of President of NYTHA so that I can more readily implement  change.   The responsibility of accomplishing these improvements will reside with the new President, Board of Directors and professional staff of 2006 administration.

There are numerous justifiable complaints from horsemen that our organization does not do enough. I make a personal pledge that I would do what is necessary to provide some spark to NYTHA activities in many areas.

1. The NYTHA is in drastic need of a complete new look to our business. Our information lists, communication methods with our members, and the general professionalism in our office procedures are in dire need of a modernization. There needs to be a rapid stream of information flowing from our headquarters to the directors and members, to enable us to act quickly on important issues. We must be doing things on a day to day basis since the world is moving so fast. You never get a second chance to make a first impression and we must make a better one then we are currently making.

E-mail listings, accurate reporting of events and constant communication with the directors and members are high up on the list. The ability for the horsemen to act immediately with petitions and letters of opinion needs to be in place to deal with situations that suddenly arise. 

NYTHA dealings with the VLT issues fell far below membership expectations and still have a long way to go before an acceptable solution to financial and philosophical matters between  NYRA, NYTHA, New York Breeders and the legislature in Albany are achieved.

2. Our committees need to be formed with Board of Directors Members and voluntary interested expert participants from our general membership.  Our membership is a resource of very successful and accomplished people of great intelligence and influence. Many such professionals and experts would be happy to devote some of their time and expertise to the NYTHA committees. 

Our committees need to report progress to the other board members, and there must be activity and progress. An agenda and a timeline needs to be implemented by each Committee Chairman. These reports will then come to the President and Vice Presidents of our organization to monitor and then will be discussed at what will be the very frequent meetings of the Board of Directors. With the appointment of a chairmanship to a committee comes accountability and responsibility of the tasks of each respective committee. As Yogi Berra says, "If we do not know where we are going, we might not get there."

3. Our Mission Statement and By-laws are in need of a complete overhaul. Times have changed and the methods of how we do things in this high speed world of communications must be brought up to date. Our interaction with other horsemen’s organizations needs to be highly active, much more so than just providing them with money. A critical analysis of one another must be part of our agenda.  Our budgetary expenditures are out of proportion with that of other benevolent organizations, and the mission of the NYTHA first and foremost is benevolence.  Once again our first responsibility is to take care of the needs at home right here at our New York racetracks.

4.  Directors and members need never hold back in providing concepts and criticisms of relevant issues.  Our goals of benevolence and quality of life within our realm are the primary function of our existence. We need to hash out our disagreements from within and then find a way to speak with a strong united voice. Everyone’s point of view is valuable since no one person has a franchise on ideas.  The NYTHA staff must put the physical time and effort to go and visit our members and get their input and disseminate that information to the general membership.

5. It is my intention to pursue grants and charitable contributions in an effort to find new revenues source, other than the owners and trainers who are endlessly approached for contribution.  Grant writing will become part of the fund raising process. This will be achieved through NYTHA or the new B.E.S.T. organization of which I am our organization's committee chairman.  It is my intention to augment our fund raising efforts by having equine memorabilia sales for backstretch charities using various vehicles to include online auctions. I need the support of the owners and trainers to assist in donating merchandise for the good of all. As stated more funds are needed in many areas

There is currently a backstretch security issue linked to equine memorabilia and its online sale. Unauthorized individuals roam the backstretch and deal in such memorabilia for personal profit. The benefits reaped from sale of these thoroughbred treasures needs to reach the entire backstretch community. A program involving dealing with such items needs to be created and implemented in conjunction with NYRA and I will accomplish that task.

Thank you for taking the time explore my views on a variety of the important issues. Please let me hear your thoughts about these vital aspects of the business. As stated above, no one has a franchise ideas.  Your opinion is very important to me and off course so is your vote.

Thank you for taking the time to read my platform.

Robert S. Fox