Michael Horning’s family has been actively involved in breeding and racing horses in Maryland for almost 50 years. His late father, breeder-owner Larry Sr., served on the MTHA Board of Directors as an owner representative, while his brother, Larry Jr., was a licensed Maryland trainer for more than 30 years.
A graduate of John Carroll University with a degree in accounting, Horning is a CPA who became audit senior manager at Touche Ross. For almost 35 years he has been the chief financial officer at two different property and casualty insurance companies.
Horning is married to Debbie (Komlo) Horning, daughter of longtime Maryland trainer William Komlo, and they race their horses as M and D Stable. The couple, who live in Potomac and have three grown children, have horses in training and broodmares, all of which are Maryland-breds. Two homebreds were stakes winners—Eyeplayeveryday and Debbie’s Tude.
Elected in 2011, Horning was a member of the MTHA Board that struck the 10-year agreement with the Maryland Jockey Club that provided stability in the racing industry and encouraged cooperation among all industry stakeholders. He said that remains important as all stakeholders work to promote the health and well-being of Maryland racing.
Horning noted the importance of the MTHA’s annual lobbying efforts in Annapolis, and said a priority is maintaining the industry’s share of casino video lottery revenue, which represents about two-thirds of the funds in the Thoroughbred Purse Account.
As Chairman of the MTHA Finance Committee, Horning has directed the oversight of the annual financial statement audit, reviewed the annual IRS Form 990 filings, developed an investment policy statement for investment of the association’s funds, and oversees the selection process of an investment adviser for the MTHA’s investments and those of the backstretch and employee pension plans.
“A priority is promoting the health, welfare and benefits of backstretch workers,” Horning said. “We need to make sure we increase benefits for the people who are taking care of our animals.”