by Nick Hahn

At a Monday morning meeting, Glenn Petty learned that his long tenure as executive director of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association (VTA) had been terminated by the organization’s board, multiple sources have confirmed.  Petty was in his eleventh year in his third term as Director.  Petty has been involved with the organization since 1980.

Past VTA President Debbie Easter has been appointed new executive director, and at least some operations will be run by Easter Associates Group, a company operated by Easter’s family which manages trade association entities.  Monday’s termination is compounded by the loss of one other staff member in a previously announced retirement.

The termination reportedly took Petty by surprise.  At least two members of the board, Ernie Oare and Anne Poulson, both former members of the Virginia Racing Commission, wrote emails condemning and contesting the handling of the personnel issue.  Wayne Chatfield-Taylor is the current president of the 19 member board.

The VTA administers the Virginia Breeder’s Fund, promotes the expansion of racing in Virginia, and works to strengthen and enhance Virginia’s standing as one of the world’s most important centers for Thoroughbred bloodstock.

Among other jobs, Petty previously was the Executive Director of the Maryland-Virginia Racing Circuit, a subsidiary of the Maryland Jockey Club that was referenced in the Virginia Racing Commission resolution that awarded Colonial Downs its racing license in 1994.