Who We Are
Thoroughbred racing accounts for 14% of the jobs in Jefferson County, and impacts not only breeders and track personnel, but also farmers, insurance agents, vets and farriers, to name a few. Here you can meet a few of the people who support thoroughbred racing
Randy Funkhouser, CTHBPA President: As a 3rd generation Jefferson County horse breeder and farmer, Raymond “Randy” Joseph Funkhouser II feels a special kinship and responsibility to protecting and promoting Charles Town’s thoroughbred horse industry for future generations. With more than 80 years of family history in Jefferson County, Randy Funkhouser has seen the powerful and positive impact of racing on the community.
Dr Keith Berkeley, Valley Equine Associates: As a large animal veterinarian serving Jefferson County since 1984, Dr. Keith Berkeley sees live thoroughbred racing as a mainstay of his practice and a lynch pin of the entire local economy. He strongly believes that “any loss of racing days or change in the purse structure would have a dramatic effect on the families here in Jefferson County” and would irreversibly change the rural character of the area.
Chip Bennett, The Bennett Agency: Chip Bennett is in the commercial and personal insurance business and he understands the impact the racing industry has on Jefferson County. He moved here in 1973, became involved with the farm insurance business in 1990 and estimates he insures 200 farms in Jefferson County. “These horse, dairy and agriculture farms are the backbone of our economy and they depend on racing to prosper,” says Chip
The Tabb Family: The Tabb family, which has lived and farmed in Jefferson County since 1872, has never raised horses, but cares about the fate of live thoroughbred horse racing as much as their neighbors who do own horses. Lyle C. Tabb III, who goes by the name Cam, runs a family-owned agriculture business called Lyle C. Tabb & Sons in Kearneysville. If live racing dates were cut, Cam Tabb says the entire agricultural community would suffer. “This would cause hardship to small farms which board horses for turn outs, and lay ups; many small straw and hay farmers would probably go out of business. It would mean less manure bins picked up from local farms, causing many farms to turn to chemical fertilizers and less straw manure for the mushroom growers.”
Joel Hiraldo, Charles Town Race Track Chaplain: Known to all as Chaplain Joel, his job is varied, including walking the barn area, counseling backstretch personnel and praying with jockeys and the starting gate crew before the races for a safe night. He provides transportation and spiritual counseling to those in need. He works through the HBPA, the local churches and Community Ministries and is able to assist needy individuals in getting food, clothing, living facilities, medical help, glasses or dental assistance. He has classes for the preparation of baptisms, comforts those who have lost a loved one and presides at funeral services.
Elaine Hagy, CTHBPA Board Member: Elaine is a member of the CTHBPA board and she is very involved with the Welfare Benefit Trust. This trust helps horsemen and horsewomen to pay their medical, dental, prescriptions, vision bills.
Victor Espinosa, Trainer & Family: Victor Espinosa came to Charles Town in 1960 as a Jockey. He rode here until 1980. Victor went to New York for one year to work as an Assistant Trainer to learn more about the training of Thoroughbred Race Horses. In 1981 he returned to Charles Town, took the state test, passed and became a Trainer: he has been training ever since.
Daisy Tobin, Owner, Breeder, Groom: Daisy Tobin's first job was walking hots for Trainer Richard Schwartz. Throughout the years, she has worked for various trainers as a groom including her current employer, James W. Casey, since 1996. And she has never left the backstretch. As a single mother she raised her son Jesse and daughter Elizabeth to work on the backstretch galloping horses and “walking hots” to earn their tuition while going through four years of college.
Larry C Reynolds, Ex-Jockey, Jockey Agent: Larry C. Reynolds is a second generation rider who lives in Charles Town, WV. Larry was a Multiple Graded Stakes Winning Jockey while at Maryland and had a great 2001 year here at Charles Town where he was ranked 47th by Wins and ranked 72nd by earnings in the country. He had hip replacement surgery in 2011 and returned to riding in 2012 and rode here at Charles Town until 2013 when he retired from riding. Larry is currently a jockey’s agent for Carlos Castro and Jesus Sanchez here at Charles Town.
Jack Huyett, Local Banker, Retired: Jack was in the banking business for 40 years. For years, Jack’s bank handled all the accounts for the Race Track; he remembers putting the first ATM machines in at the track. He estimated that back then about 50% of the horsemen were customers at his bank. He knew them all by their names.
Support the CTHBPA
You can help support the educational and benevolent activities in our community. CTHBPA is a 501(c)6 organization. Contributions are not tax deductible as charitable contributions, however, contributions may be deductible business expenses. You should consult your tax professional for advice before claiming any tax deduction.