Ingram new chairman of Aiken Training Track; Knowles succeeds Frommer as president

April 6, 2019

There has been a change in leadership at the Aiken Training Track.

During the annual shareholders’ meeting Thursday, the board of directors elected Chad Ingram as the new chairman.

He is the president and CEO of Garvin Oil Company.

Ingram replaces Bruce Johnstone, who had been the Training Track’s chairman since last spring.

Johnston is the manager of racing operations for the New York Racing Association. He is a former trainer and Aiken resident.

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected as the chairman of the board for the Aiken Training Track,” Ingram wrote in an email sent to the Aiken Standard on Friday. “It is a privilege to be able to serve my fellow directors, shareholders, our employees, stakeholders and fans of the track. We are fortunate to be surrounded by a community that supports the thoroughbred industry here in Aiken. I look forward to working with our new board members, as well as our veteran directors, to increase the health and well-being of our facility and operations as we move into the future.”

Also elected Thursday was a new Training Track president, longtime horsewoman Alice Knowles.

She succeeded Cary Frommer, who resigned from the position prior to the shareholders’ meeting.

A thoroughbred trainer who also buys and resells young horses at public auctions, Frommer had been the Training Track’s president since 2017.

“I have gotten to the point in my life where I am trying to simplify things a little bit,” Frommer said. “Having all the horses that I’ve had, along with also dealing with running the track for two years, has been tough. “Hopefully, I did a good job (as president),” she continued. “My heart was always in it. Bruce and I will still be involved with track, and we will be trying to bring new people with horses here. There is a lot of work that still needs to be done.”

Frommer, who remains a Training Track board member, described Ingram as a good choice for the position of chairman.

“He is very conscientious, and he really cares about the track,” she said. “He has no agenda other than making the track succeed and thrive.”

A factor in the decision to replace Johnstone with Ingram is that Ingram is an Aiken resident and Johnstone currently is not, Frommer said.

Other Training Track officers are Barry Bornstein and Suzy Haslup, vice presidents; Paul Simons, secretary; and Jennifer Williamson, treasurer.

New members of the board of directors are Bill Gutfarb, Lisa Hall, Helen Naylor, Jim Rhodes and Glenn Thompson.

Frommer said approximately 120 thoroughbreds used the Training Track facilities at some point during the 2018-2019 winter season.

The horse population peaked in February at 96.

Frommer, who has had up to 80 thoroughbreds in her care during recent years, plans to reduce the number she trains to 20 or 25.

“I have some very loyal and wonderful customers that I’ve had for years, and I will always do whatever they need,” Frommer said. “But I’m not taking any new clients and I’m backing off. I am going to concentrate on my personal life.”

The shareholders’ meeting was held at a facility near the Training Track.

The Training Track is the site of the first leg of the Aiken Triple Crown – the Aiken Trials.

Other Triple Crown events are the Aiken Spring Steeplechase and Pacers and Polo.

The address for the Training Track is 538 Two Notch Road S.E.