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Changes Afoot in California
Friday, August 4, 2006 - by David Siegel, for the California Harness Horsemen's Associaton


The California Harness Horsemen’s Association (CHHA), at its July meeting, announced a series of changes and additions to its board and staff.

Driver-Trainer Rocky Stidham was appointed to complete the term of Tim Twaddle on the CHHA board. Alan Kirshenbaum was appointed as chairman to take the reins of the California Standardbred Sires Stakes Committee. Jimmy Perez was hired by the CHHA as its new Executive Director and finally, Gene Vallandingham were hired by the CHHA as its new Horsemen’s Representative.

CHHA President Ben Kenney commented, “While we are sorry to see Tim Twaddle depart our board, I cannot think of a more qualified or dedicated member of the horsemen’s community than Rocky Stidham to fill this void.” Regarding the Sire Stakes, Steve Chambers has done an incredible job, with the support of Keith Willey, in turning around our program. He has put in tireless hours to get us headed in the right direction and all of us owe him a debt of gratitude. I empathize though with how much effort was expended and he is now getting a well-deserved rest. I look forward to having Alan on board to pick up where Steve left off.”

Referring to the two new CHHA hires, Kenney mentioned, “Jimmy has worked very hard as a board member, and as a fill-in since our leadership position was vacated. He is experienced in the matters that need attention and we are lucky to have him commit to taking on this role.” He concluded, “It made sense to simultaneously hire another horsemen dedicated to the welfare of harness racing in California. Gene has long been a part of the fabric here, is well respected by his peers, and was the logical and perfect choice to round out the team.”