At the Florida HBPA Nominating and General Membership Dinner on December 16th, long time President Sammy Gordon was honored as the Florida HBPA Man of the Year, and Herb Elkins was honored with the Florida HBPA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mr. Gordon, a long time Florida owner, has been President for six years and was honored for his outstanding leadership and peerless negotiating skills. There is no question that Sam is greatly respected for his hard work by the locals, the winter invaders, and the Florida breeders alike. Further, he is also held in high regard by both the local tracks. This is best exemplified by the fact that Gulfstream management thinks he favors Calder and Calder officials think he always leans to Gulfstream. The truth is Sam favors neither track. But he always favors the Florida horsemen.
Herb Elkins, a Florida HBPA board member since 1998 was given the Florida HBPA’s first “Lifetime Achievement” Award. Mr. Elkins, also a tough negotiator, was the long time contract committee chairman responsible for negotiating all purse contracts. Mr. Elkins who owns horses in partnership with his wife, running horses under Ione and HJ Elkins, has had tremendous success over the years in the Florida Stallion Stakes. He swept the male division in 1995 with Seacliff and won the $400,000 My Dear Girl division with Fortune Pending in 1994 and again in 2007 with Calico Bay.