About the PTHA

The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (PTHA) works hard to protect and provide for the Parx Racing horsemen through the guarantee of live racing, horsemen’s rights, health care and pension for horsemen, benevolence programs, and more. Parx Racing and the PTHA have been recognized throughout the industry as a starting point for stricter medication rules and other important legislative issues through the foresight of Executive Director Michael Ballezzi and the PTHA Board of Directors.

In addition, the PTHA has created the Horsemen’s Purchasing Association (HPA) and Turning for Home. The HPA offers quality products at discount prices, including feed, bedding, supplements, and tack. Turning for Home is a racehorse retirement program that has safely retired over 1,000 horses from Parx Racing since 2008, and is considered a model program for the racing industry.

Here are just some of the many things the PTHA currently provides:

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  • Open every day except Wednesdays
  • Full line of fax and copy with all copies and racing-related faxes free of charge
  • Accept mail for mailing
  • At least one notary on-site every day except Wednesdays
  • Complete forms for the Jockey Club and Pennsylvania Breeders Association
  • Pull BRISNet & Equineline reports for purchase
  • Computer with Internet access connected to printer available for use in-office
  • Free wi-fi Internet access
  • Provide licensing and forms for other racing jurisdictions
  • Provide training charts


  • Free Parx Racing programs for owners and trainers
  • Daily Racing Form available for use in-office, with Forms available for purchase
  • Overnights for Mid-Atlantic racetracks
  • Condition books for Mid-Atlantic racetracks
  • Sales catalogs
  • National and regional racing and breeding publications available for use in-office
  • Parx Racing program library for the past year for use in-office
  • Parx Racing video library for the past year for use in-office


  • Trophy race weekly where winning trainer receives an embroidered PTHA paddock blanket and the owner receives a trophy that holds a 5×7″ win photo
  • Sponsor of Craig Donnelly’s Parx Racing Analysis
  • Instrumental in obtaining construction of all new barns on the backstretch
  • Used shavings removal


  • Fire and disaster for horses on the grounds
  • LaSalle University nurses on-site twice weekly for all backstretch personnel
  • Weekly medical clinic with Dr. Brian Rizen
  • Benefit Trust for stable employees who are ineligible for health insurance
  • Health insurance available for eligible trainers
  • Supplemental health insurance for eligible trainers
  • Accident insurance for eligible horses
  • Dental insurance for eligible trainers
  • Optical insurance for eligible trainers
  • Pension plan for eligible trainers
  • Life insurance plan for eligible trainers
  • Burial plan for eligible trainers


  • Write appeals for rulings against horsemen
  • Lobby in Harrisburg for horsemen’s rights and the future of racing in Pennsylvania
  • Represent horsemen before the Board of Stewards, Pennsylvania Racing Commission and state legislature


  • Annual Horsemen’s Awards Dinner
  • Annual Owners Appreciation Day
  • Annual Pennsylvania Derby Day Celebration
  • Annual Parx Hall of Fame Induction
  • Shared sponsorship of Easter dinner, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas Day dinner, and Christmas luncheon for backstretch employees with Chaplain Bunker and RTCA, as well as children’s holiday parties three times a year.
  • Annual Labor Day Pig Roast, Memorial Day Picnic, and Independence Day Picnic for backstretch employees and their families
  • Sponsorship of Chaplain’s programs for alcohol and drug treatment


  • Website with up-to-date information, horse adoption page and current press releases
  • PTHA Newsletter mailed six times a year
  • Let’s Go Racing, a weekly TV show produced by the PTHA using track announcer Keith Jones and turf writer Dick Gerardi. Bruce Casella was the original host but now handles mostly behind the scenes work including camera operation, producing and editing.
  • Pertinent racing information available in office


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