About Us

The West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association is a non-profit corporation that was founded in 1968 with the purpose to foster and promote the thoroughbred breeding and racing industries in West Virginia.

WVTBA members have a shared belief that the West Virginia thoroughbred breeding program is an important and essential industry to West Virginia’s economy and way of life. Members who pay dues by January 1 receive a subscription to the MidAtlantic Thoroughbred magazine and a ticket to our annual awards dinner, as well as discounted registration fees. Dues paid by June 30th get discounted registration fees.

Board of Directors

Dennis Finger


Born 1942 in Washington DC and moved to a small farm in Va. In 1948 where I got my first horse (pony). A few years later I was given a two-year-old TB which I broke with the help of Stewart Bridenbaker. She ran at Charles Town and Wheeling with some success. Stewart then gave me a mare but with some stipulations. He would breed her to his stallion (Shining) and he would receive the foal. The next foal by Shining would be mine as would be the mare. This took a long time and when I finally did get one I named him TOIM (This One Is Mine). TOIM won several races and contributed to my college expenses.
After college I flew thirty-five years for Trans World Airlines and the last six years was instructing on the Boeing 747, Boeing 757 and the Boeing 767. After retiring from American Airlines, who bought TWA, I wanted to get back with race horses so my wife, Karone, and I moved to Kearneysville to start raising thoroughbreds once again. We bought 22 acres and built our farm from scratch. We have raise 13 foals so far and all but the first two are by West Virginia sires. The first two mares came from Fl. In foal. At the present time I have four mares and looking forward to the next new arrivals.

Cynthia McKee

Vice President

I’m Cynthia McKee, I’m running for the Board of Directors because the breeding industry is my main source of income. My main concern is protecting and enhancing the WV Breeding program. My husband and I own and operate Beau Ridge Farm. We currently stand four stallions including WV’s leading sire, Fiber Sonde, we also have a large broodmare band. We are both lifetime residents, so our roots run deep in West Virginia. We both were former presidents and board members of the WVTBA. If elected to the Board, I will do my best to help, protect and promote the breeding industry.

Nicole Brown


Hi, my name is Nicole Brown. I have been involved with horses for 30+ years. Besides the racehorses and breeding, I also show my horse, Ultimatum, at horse shows in the Adult Amateurs. With my husband, Ronney Brown, we own Pellinor Lane Farm in Rippon, WV. We have about 45 broodmares and are looking forward to the foal crops we have coming from stallions Bullsbay and Talent Search.

I believe that West Virginia is in a great position to increase our breeding program. We need to look at ways to invite more people to this great state and bring their mares. By expanding our foal crop, it would make it easier to fill races in the years to come. The breeding program needs to be accessible to everyone with easy access to stallions and the farms in the state. I look forward to working with everyone to improve the breeding program. 

Judy Grams


Hi! My name is Judy Grams. My husband and I have been breeding and racing Thoroughbreds since the 90s. We have a small breeding operation in Jefferson County, WV and primarily make our living from raising homebreds. This Is why I’m running for the board of WVBA, so that I can help preserve the current Breeders programs and hopefully help the current board come up with new ideas to help our program grow and attract others to participate.

Tim Collins

I have been training since 2005, and breeding West Virginia Bred horses for over 12 years. If voted in, I will give my 100% and try to find better ways to promote our breeding program because this is an awesome program!

Javier Contreras

I have been training horses for over 30 years. I am glad to be part of the board and want to continue helping our racing community by serving on the WVTBA board of directors.

Leslie Cromer

Moving to the area in 1991 with a desire to work at the Charles Town racetrack, I began a career of twenty years as an exercise rider/ pony person/jockey. In 1997, I purchased a farm between Shepherdstown and Shenandoah Junction where I still reside. The farm has been a great place to breed and raise some WV bred thoroughbreds. I desire to be on the WV Breeders Board to assist in improving the program for the many hard-working breeders in our area, and to see it grow.

Karen Freer

I have been actively involved in the WV Thoroughbred racing industry for over 20 years, initially as an exercise rider and now as owner of Flamingo Run LLC where I offer a full menu of support services for the industry, including training, boarding, shipping, and rest and rehab services. Most recently, I have expanded operations to include breeding to my resident stallion, Real Estate. As a WVTBA Board member my principal focus would be on moving the Association towards claiming their fair share of the huge revenue resource available through participation in the Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) programs of the online betting services. This is a multi-million-dollar resource that is currently unavailable to the West Virginia racing industry. Given the uncertainties around continued state funding for the industry, I believe we must move aggressively to secure that additional revenue.

John Funkhouser

John is a graduate of Hobart College. He then returned to Jefferson County to work in the thoroughbred industry. He is the farm manager for O’Sullivan Farms and oversees the entire full-service operation including breeding and foaling, sales prepping, breaking, etc. John has been on the WVTBA board for 9 years, serving as President for the past 5 years. He wants to help promote legislation and implement procedures that will enhance and improve the West Virginia thoroughbred breeding industry for all participants.

Mary Sell

My name is Mary Sell and together with my husband Mark, moved to WV and Jefferson County in 2003 to participate as resident farm owners in the West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeding program.

I work in all aspects of our farm’s breeding and commercial sales programs and have great respect for the breeders and owners who participate in our programs, and for those that built this program over many years, and through many challenges.

I have been active in the WVTBA organization, focusing on legislative and governmental relations as a member of the WVTBA legislative committee, which, given I work in that area professionally, has been a good fit and spot for me to contribute to the WVTBA, including representing the WVTBA on West Virginia Racing United and the West Virginia Horse Coalition, and serving as an Assoc. Supervisor of the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District.

My involvement in these endeavors on behalf of WVTBA has educated me on the various aspects and challenges of our organization, and the opportunities for our organization to leverage and message the strengths and benefits of the WVTBA to the entire state and region.  

David Walters

David Walters, 63, is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and has been training horses for 42 years. He has been stabled at Charles Town since 1982. On January 13, 2021, he achieved a major milestone with his 1,5ooth career win as a trainer. He and his wife, Ellen, own Fairview Farm and they, along with several of clients, including Michael Miller, Richard Knapp and Terri Catlett, continue to participate and support the breeding program in West Virginia. David has two daughters, Samantha and Vanessa, both teachers in Jefferson County and two grandchildren, Ty, 15 and Kendall, 12.

David's goal as a member of the WVTBA Board is to "help create better incentives to generate more breeder participation in the WVTBA programs that will increase our foal population in the state. I am on the grounds everyday and see the needs of everyone involved and am accessible whenever there are questions or concerns."

West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association

Mailing Address: 
PO Box 626
Charles Town, WV 25414

Visit Us

Our office is located at
202 E Liberty St
Charles Town, WV 25414

Contact US
Email: wvbreeders@gmail.com