The National HBPA has announced the appointment of Eric Hamelback as their new CEO. Eric will assume responsibilities on April 20, 2015 and will succeed Phil Hanrahan, who stepped down earlier this year.
Hamelback has most recently been the General Manager for Adena Springs, KY. He was with the Adena Springs team covering 14 of the last 17 years, beginning in 1997. He began with Adena Springs as Yearling Manager, then promoted to Assistant Manager both in Kentucky and then with the Florida operation and he was ultimately appointed to General Manager of the Kentucky operation in 2008.
Hamelback stated, “Accepting the position as CEO for the National HBPA is an honor. To be part of an organization that has its primary focus being the health and welfare of the equine athlete, along with that of protecting horsemen’s interests, epitomizes what I have strived for in my professional career. I look forward to joining with members of this organization, and continuing to promote and protect racing, our amazing athletes, and most importantly the horsemen that make this industry great.”
“The National HBPA went through a careful and deliberative search process and we are delighted with the outcome. Eric’s background separated himself from the other candidates. He sealed the deal with his clear passion for the equine athlete, his desire to champion the cause of our members, along with his clear interest in helping the overall industry work together rather than divisively,” commented National HBPA President Robin Richards.
Hamelback has been a long time horseman, starting his career in the late 1980s on the racetracks and training centers in Louisiana and Arkansas. Eventually he attended Louisiana State University where he also managed equine herds at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Upon graduation from LSU, Hamelback returned to the tracks of Louisiana and Arkansas working for an equine veterinary practice. In 1994, Hamelback was given the opportunity to start his professional career in Kentucky with Prestonwood Farm. In 1997 he began his tenure with Adena Springs. In 2008, Hamelback was promoted to General Manager of the Kentucky operation. Currently Hamelback is active on several industry boards. Presently he resides on the KBIF Advisory Board, the University of Kentucky GLUCK Foundation Board, the TOBA Board of Trustees and TOBA Executive Committee as Secretary, and the Thoroughbred Charities of America Board of Directors.