About HBPA2021-02-05T20:05:17+00:00

About HBPA

Position Statements
List of Affiliates


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. There were no THA, TOC, KTA, TOBA, UTTA, AQHA or other organizations representing 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. This time-honored tradition of racetrackers provided for burial services, medical attention, and feeding and housing for the needy families.

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 approximately 29,000 owner and 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 horsemen who represent different breeds of race horses; – 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.

With this purpose in mind, we urge all horsemen to join the HBPA, and urge you to take an active role in the direction and policies of your organization. By doing so, you are affirming your confidence in the goals and future endeavors of the HBPA. You do make a difference.


Founded in 1940, the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) and its Affiliates operate on behalf of Thoroughbred racehorse owners, trainers and backstretch personnel throughout the United States and Canada.

  1. Providing a representative voice for all Thoroughbred horsemen on matters integral to the advancement of Thoroughbred racing in the United States and Canada and at the state/province level.
  2. Encouraging the highest standards of horsemanship to continuously improve the care, health and safety of the horse.
  3. Facilitating guidelines to ensure the safety of the jockeys, trainers, grooms, exercise riders, hot walkers, farriers, veterinarians and all others who regularly come in contact with racehorses.
  4. Supporting the development, adoption, implementation and enforcement of nationwide uniform rules that promote safety and integrity in racing.
  5. Disseminating information on critical issues facing our industry to HBPA Affiliates, members and the general public as appropriate.
  6. Supporting and promoting programs and entities that provide general benevolence and other beneficial programs for Affiliates and members.
  7. Assisting in the development of programs at affiliated tracks providing for the aftercare of our horses when their racing careers are over.
  8. Promoting the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing.

Our Team

Leroy Gessmann
Leroy GessmannPresident & Chairman of The Board, National HBPA
18965 N 89th Way
Scottsdale, AZ 85255


Office: (515) 202-2581

Eric J. Hamelback
Eric J. HamelbackCEO, National HBPA
3380 Paris Pike
Lexington, KY 40511


Office: (859) 259-0451
Fax: (859) 259-0452

J. Lloyd Yother
J. Lloyd YotherWestern Region Vice President; President, Arizona HBPA
Arizona HBPA
P.O. Box 43636
Phoenix, AZ 85080


Cell: (480) 206-1750

Rick Hiles
Rick HilesSouthern Region Vice President & President Kentucky HBPA
3733 South Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40214

Office: (502) 363-1077
Cell: (502) 386-7960
Fax: (502) 367-6800

Stephen Screnci
Stephen ScrenciEastern Region Vice President; President, Florida HBPA
P.O. Box 3507
Hallandale Beach, FL 33008-3507

Office: (954) 457-3516

Lynne McNallySecretary/Treasurer, National HBPA; Executive Director, Nebraska HBPA
2239 South 62nd Street
Lincoln, NE 68506
Joe DavisCentral Region Vice President; President, Indiana HBPA
32 Hollaway Boulevard
Brownsburg, IN 46112

Office: (859) 992-3327

Lauren Monnet
Lauren MonnetOffice Administrator, National HBPA
3380 Paris Pike
Lexington, KY 40511

Office: (859) 259-0451
Fax: (859) 259-0452

Denis Blake
Denis BlakeEditor, The Horsemen's Journal
3380 Paris Pike
Lexington, KY 40511

Office: (512) 695-4541

Peter Ecabert
Peter EcabertGeneral Counsel, National HBPA
836 Euclid Avenue, Suite #207
Lexington, KY 40502

Office: (859) 266-3700
Fax: (859) 268-9141