About Us

Who We Are


The Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) is an organization based on the ideals set forth by the National HBPA, which prides itself on "horsemen helping horsemen." Pennsylvania’s association provides services for horsemen at both Penn National in Grantville and Presque Isle Downs in Erie.

Based in Grantville, Dauphin County, PA HBPA is composed of a president, board of directors (five owners and five trainers), executive director and staff who run the day-to-day operations at each racetrack.

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"Horsemen Helping Horsemen"

The Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) is proud to be an Affiliate of the National HBPA, which operates on behalf of thoroughbred race horse owners, trainers and backstretch personnel throughout the United States and Canada. Based in Grantville, the Pennsylvania HBPA is comprised of a president, board of directors (five owners and five trainers), an executive director and staff, who represent 3,750 members.

Our mission:

  1. Providing a representative voice for all thoroughbred horsemen on matters integral to the advancement of thoroughbred racing in Pennsylvania, particularly at our member tracks, Penn National Race Course in Grantville, and Presque Isle Downs in Erie.
  2. Encouraging the highest standards of horsemanship to continuously improve the care, health and safety of the horse.
  3. Disseminating information on critical issues facing our industry to our membership, to our elected officials, and to the general public as appropriate.
  4. Promoting the growth of the Pennsylvania HBPA’s New Start Aftercare Program, which gives retired racehorses a new start on their second careers.
  5. Promoting the sport of thoroughbred horse racing through messaging and advertising which underscores the integrity of Pennsylvania racing.
  6. 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 the race horse.
  7. Supporting and promoting programs and entities which provide general benevolence and other beneficial programs for our members.
  8. Supporting the development, adoption, implementation and enforcement of nationwide uniform rules which promote safety and integrity in racing.
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Our History

In 1940, a group of horsemen created what is now known as the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA). 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.

Source: National HBPA

HBPA logo with Penn

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