Posted: Aug. 12, 2017
During periodic board meetings each year, Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Chairman Alan Foreman has a tradition of recognizing those who have contributed a great deal of time and energy to the organization.
But on a recent evening in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., he got a surprise during the traditional meeting dinner. The board honored him for decades of service to not only the THA but the Thoroughbred industry at large.
“It just blew me away,” Foreman said the following morning. “I didn’t sleep five minutes last night. My head was spinning.”
Foreman, whose wife, Randi, was on hand for the celebration, was presented with framed proclamations from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and another designating him a “Kentucky Colonel,” an award from Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin recognizing an individual’s noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to the community, state and nation.
Foreman’s first forays into horse racing came when he was with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office. In 1979 he was tapped to handle the Laurel Raceway bankruptcy case that led to the track’s purchase by the late Frank De Francis and a renaissance for Maryland harness racing. The following year, he represented Pimlico Race Course stewards in the controversial non-disqualification of the winner, Codex, after alleged interference by the rider of second-place finisher Genuine Risk.
Since then, Foreman has been immersed in the business as an attorney and member of various industry organizations and boards. He was the driving force for the formation of the THA in 1994 and positioned the organization to have a strong voice on the state and national levels on important issues including equine medication and drug testing.
As part of his work with the THA, Foreman launched the MATCH Series, which linked stakes at Mid-Atlantic tracks—represented by the THA and National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association—for the purpose of year-end bonuses for owners and trainers. He also has served many years as general counsel for the Maryland THA.
“We worked closely on putting together the MATCH Series,” said MTHA Executive Director David Richardson, who has known Foreman for more than 20 years. “The good thing about Alan is he gave me the freedom to run with it and supported the crazy ideas I had. He always had the perseverance to try to be creative and innovative with MATCH and the THA in general.
“And importantly, Alan has always handled things with such class and dignity. He has been like a brother to me.”
Foreman is the longest-serving director of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association—he has been on the board since its launch in the late 1990s—and chairs its Finance Committee, and is vice chairman of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. He also performs legal work for the United States Equestrian Federation, with which he has been associated for many years, and is general counsel for the National Steeplechase Association.
The proclamation from Cuomo is as follows. It was read at the dinner by NYTHA President Rick Violette Jr., who has worked closely with Foreman over the years on issues impacting horsemen and the overall Thoroughbred industry.
Dear Mr. Foreman:
“It is a pleasure to congratulate you on being honored by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. You can be justifiably proud of this tribute recognizing your many achievements as a staunch advocate for the health and welfare of both racehorses and riders in the horseracing industry.
“Today, as you meet in historic Saratoga Springs for the National Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association annual meeting, you are applauded as one of the leading and most influential racing law attorneys in the United States. You have been of great service to the State of New York on both the New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety and as my appointee to the Task Force on Jockey Health and Safety.
“We credit you, in large measure, for the National Uniform Medication Program which provides critical guidelines for the use of therapeutic medication in racehorses. You have been counsel to many horsemen’s and racing industry organizations for nearly two decades.
“Your expertise is well-known and respected and, on behalf of all New Yorkers, I commend you as you are honored by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.”
With warmest regards, and best wishes for much continued success.
Andrew W. Cuomo
Later in the evening, Foreman went around the room acknowledging those with whom he has worked on THA business for many years and reaffirmed his commitment to the organization for as long as the membership would like him to serve.