U.S. Trotting Association President and Director Phil Langley announced Sunday (Nov. 20) at a meeting of the USTA Board of Directors executive committee at the Columbus (OH) Airport Marriott hotel that he will resign from those positions effective Dec. 31, 2016. His current term was set to expire in 2019.
Langley explained that given the situation in Illinois, where both Balmoral and Maywood Parks have been closed, he feels that he can no longer fairly address the ongoing concerns of the USTA.
"I no longer have a track to represent and there is little quality racing in Illinois anymore,” said Langley. “For years, my tracks were involved on a national basis with the American Nationals, the World Trotting Derby, the Windy City Pace and the Hanover Stakes among others. Without that base, I no longer feel a part of the national scene that is necessary for the USTA President."
In accordance with USTA bylaw 11.04, since the vacancy in the presidency will occur within 60 days of the next USTA Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for Feb. 26-28, 2017 in Las Vegas (NV), USTA Chairman of the Board Ivan Axelrod will serve as interim president until the election of a new president at that time who will serve the remainder of Langley’s term until 2019.
USTA bylaw 11.04 states,
“If a vacancy occurs in the office of the president, a meeting of the executive committee shall be called immediately to elect an interim president who shall serve until the next annual meeting of the full board of directors, at which time a president shall be elected for the balance of the term or a new four-year term if the existing term has expired. However, if the vacancy occurs within sixty (60) days of the next scheduled annual meeting, the chairman of the board shall serve as president until said meeting.”
Langley was first elected to the USTA Board of Directors from District 5 in 1983. He began the first of his four terms as USTA president in 2003.
A 1959 graduate of Dartmouth College, Langley became racing director and racing secretary for the Chicago Downs Association and Fox Valley Trotting Club in 1965. He served in those positions as well as vice president of Fox Valley until 1998 when Sportsman’s Park discontinued harness racing.
Langley also was a member of the ownership group for both Balmoral Park and Maywood Park as served as treasurer of Balmoral and director of racing at both tracks.
In addition, he was a member of the Illinois Department of Agriculture Advisory Board, Racing Industry Charitable Foundation board of directors, Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame board of trustees and the North American Harness Racing Secretaries Association. He also served in an advisory capacity for both the Illinois State Fair and Du Quoin State Fair.
Langley was inducted in the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. on July 1, 2007 and was previously inducted into the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Hall of Fame in 1994.
(with files from USTA)