Change in IHHA leadership

The Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association stands in full support of the investigation that has led to the recent Federal indictments that have sent shock waves through our industry. We welcome the full and thorough legal process that will now take place.  We also approve of the recent policies set forth by Hawthorne Racecourse in response to those indictments.  While our purpose as an association is to always work for the betterment of horsemen and their families, we also understand that we must be committed to accomplishing our goals by adhering to the highest standards of integrity……..The Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association

I helped write the above paragraph and after truly processing it, I realized that nothing should ever stand in the way of the greater good of this association. For that reason, last week I announced to the board of the IHHA that I was stepping down as President of the Association but will remain on as a board member. I was not pushed by the board to resign but am doing so to maintain complete transparency and because it is the right thing to do given the investigation now underway in New York. My interest in that case is at best distant as I am certain discovery will reveal in due time………Marty Engel

With the resignation of Marty as the IHHA President, Clark Fairley, formerly the Vice-President will step into the lead role. Craig Grummel will move up to Vice-President.

As a part of the Governor’s Covid-19 shelter in place order, as you all know Hawthorne has ceased racing. The racetrack will remain closed for live racing until the Governor allows us to return. The earliest we could possibly return would be the weekend of April 10th, yet please understand that is a best case scenario. It could last longer. How long? No one, absolutely no one, can guess at this time. These are unprecedented times. News of this pandemic is changing daily and very quickly. We will update everyone as soon as possible when we get any more news. In the meantime, please be smart and stay safe.