About THA

A highly regarded and influential voice on all issues affecting horsemen locally, regionally and nationally.

In 1990 a number of state horsemen’s organizations, unaffiliated with a national organization, began informal meetings to discuss issues of mutual concern and to explore strategies to have their voices heard on a national level. The discussions, facilitated by well-known industry lawyer and Maryland racing leader Alan Foreman, led to the formal creation of Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Associations Inc. in 1994.

The member organizations were the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Benevolent Association, Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Philadelphia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. Prominent New York horse owner Michael Martin, an advertising executive and former vice president of the World Football League and New York Jets, was selected as the first president of the THA.

Martin retired for health reasons in 2001 and Rick Violette, Jr., a NYTHA board member and moving force in the formation of the THA, was elected his successor. Violette has continued to serve as THA president by acclamation.

Today, the THA is a highly regarded and influential voice on all issues affecting horsemen locally, regionally and nationally. THA member organizations in Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania include more than 20,000 owners and trainers. Together with owners and trainers racing throughout North America, they are the backbone of the racing industry.

Collectively, they represent the largest investment in our industry and drive the economic engine of racing. They purchase horses and pay to care for them, employ tens of thousands of workers, and support thousands of small businesses connected to the racing industry.

THA members are devoted to ensuring the health and welfare of our equine athletes and their riders. They strongly support and promote uniform medication regulations, safety and welfare programs, and policies designed to ensure a level playing field for our participants and the integrity of our sport.

The THA was instrumental in the formation of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. It is a member of the American Horse Council and the Racing Officials Accreditation Program and is a supporting member of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

THA member organizations have pioneered aftercare programs for our retired horses and actively support local and national programs.

The THA affords its member organizations the opportunity to discuss and collaborate on issues of mutual concern to its membership and to provide strong  representation for horsemen on local, regional and national issues. The Board of directors, which meets three times a year, is comprised of the presidents and executive directors of its member organizations.



  • Spearheaded the creation and implementation of the Mid-Atlantic Uniform Medication and Drug Testing Program that is now the National Uniform Medication Program.
  • Created and launched the Mid-Atlantic Strategic Plan to Reduce Equine Fatalities.
  • Took the lead on uniform and simplified licensing for all owners and trainers.
  • Led industry medication reform and uniform medication policies for more than two decades.
  • THA and its affiliate member organizations were the first horsemen’s groups to support creation of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. The THA is one of its longest-serving members and financial supporters.
  • Spearheaded creation of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium through its 2001 white paper proposal for a Comprehensive Drug Testing, Medication and Research Program for the industry. Has played a leadership role in the organization and is one of its major benefactors.
  • Leading advocate for regional and national implementation of policies and rules regarding the health, safety and welfare of the horse, including the recommendations of the New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety in 2012.
  • Spearheaded creation of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance and racetrack accreditation.
  • Major financial contributor to medication research and testing laboratories, including the acquisition of state-of-the-art testing equipment.
  • Created the first of its kind and highly acclaimed Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships (MATCH Series).
  • Developed the structure of, and dedicated funding for, aftercare programs such as Turning for Home, Take The Lead, TAKE2, and Galloping Out.
  • Has provided ongoing leadership for consensus-based decision-making and policy implementation.
  • Remains a strong and respected voice for owners and trainers.