THE exclusive Hong Kong Racehorse Owners' Association is being taken to court by an aggrieved member who says he was denied a shot at the presidency. In a writ filed in the High Court yesterday, the club's 1997-98 vice-president and presidential hopeful, Sunny Yam Wing-yin, demanded a declaration that this year's election for association president and council members was void. 'The whole election process for officers and council members was unfairly conducted and contrary to [club rules],' he claimed. 'The first elections should be held in an open and fair manner . . . to safeguard the integrity of the association. It was improper for anyone to interfere.' Until this year, only the club's council members had selected their successors. Starting with this year's elections on November 30, all racehorse-owning members of the association were entitled to vote, the writ states. But Mr Yam claims that voting rights should not have later been extended to all members - including non-owners. Outgoing president Mark Fong Chung threw his support behind Mr Yam's rival, fellow 1997-98 vice-president K. K. Yeung, in September. The next month, 'K. K. wrongfully and maliciously accused Sunny of a lack of authority' for having 'disclosed his platform to the press', the writ states. 'He [K. K.] threatened to expel Sunny from the association.' In November, 'Sunny was informed by some members that K. K. and Mark told them the Hong Kong Jockey Club sided with Mark . . . and disliked Sunny'. Eminent business and community leaders and famous racehorse owners found themselves embroiled in the fracas as newly admitted members. Mr Yeung withdrew his bid for the presidency before the vote, leaving only Mr Fong and Mr Yam to contest the position. Mr Fong won with 251 votes, with Mr Yam trailing on 114. The writ concludes: 'Votes cast by members who did not currently own a racehorse were wrongly counted as valid.' Mr Yam called for a declaration that the election was void and the result invalid. Costs are also sought.