BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BENARD K CHATTERS
Position: 1st Vice President / Owner
Resides: New Orleans, La.
I have served on the HBPA Board of Directors from 1992 to March 2008. I was a State Representative for over 23 years, and have been practicing law for over 25 years, with Morrell &. Morrell, LLC. I have been a horseman for over 25 years. Also, I am presently the Clerk of Court for Criminal District Court.
While in the Legislature, I have authored and passed many bills that benefited horsemen. A few of those bills are:
1. Allowing children to accompany their parents to watch their horses run and take their photo in the winning circle.
2. To have horsemen to get a share of the Off Track Betting (OTB) Parlors money.
3. To have horsemen to get a bigger share of the simulcasting money.
4. I authored the bill where tracks had to run no less than the 80 days within 20 weeks and made sure that this provision was amended to the video, simulcasting, OTB and slots bill.
5. Passed the law giving Notification of Equine Activity which gave horsemen immunity from being sued by anyone.
6. I caused the law suit against the race tracks to recover nearly $100,000,000.00 in redirected purse money from video poker.
7. I helped to pass the workmen's compensation bill in the Legislature.
As we move into the 21st century, we, as horsemen, need to protect ourselves more than ever now. Over $100 million in purse money went through our horsemen's bookkeepers last year, an increase from last year and I’m fighting for an increase for coming years. We have to have serious business-minded horse people on our Board of Directors to protect our interests.
I am married to New Orleans Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. We have 4 sons; State Senator JP Morrell; Todd and Nicholas, both police officers; and Matthew, a former trainer and now an owner.
Resides: Folsom, La.
I am currently serving my fifth term on the HBPA Board of Directors. With thirteen years experience to offer, I currently serve as Chairman of the Finance Committee, Member of the President’s Executive Committee, Bylaws Committee, Horsemen’s Political Action Committee, and a Medical Trustee. I am always eager to listen and help in any way that I can be of assistance to the horsemen.
EDWARD J JOHNSTON