Posted: Dec. 15, 2016
The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Dec. 14 announced the election of eight new members to its board of directors, including a new board president, to take effect the first of the year. It’s the first election of new board members since the TAA’s inception in early 2012.
The new members of the board of directors are President-Elect John Phillips, owner of Darby Dan Farm; Dora Delgado, Senior Vice President of Racing and Nominations for Breeders’ Cup; Mike Ernst, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club; Jim Gagliano, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Jockey Club; David O’Farrell, manager of Ocala Stud; Martin Panza, Senior Vice President of the New York Racing Association; Yvonne Schwabe, owner of Persley Den Farms; and Jen Shah, director of tax services at Dean Dorton Allen Ford PLLC.
“It is important to me that horse racing survives and, more important, prospers,” Phillips said. “To do so I believe the TAA addresses a general, and not unreasonable, concern regarding the future of the equine after racing. The fact is that our fans greatly care what happens to equines after racing. In order for this sport to have a viable future we must own up to this inescapable concern.
“The TAA is a rational, practical answer; retrain, retire or humanely manage. I want our sport to take responsibility for its future by making the TAA more a part of every aspect of our sport and industry.”
Outgoing TAA President Jimmy Bell of Godolphin America said the Lexington, Ky.-based TAA “has made so much progress in the last couple of years due in no small part to such a dedicated team of staff and a very engaged board. Through this period we have elevated the awareness of aftercare and have earned our stripes every day in maintaining and achieving the good housekeeping seal that the Thoroughbred industry has come to know and trust in aftercare management.
“We have a great new board going forward and a phenomenal new president in John Phillips, who brings not only passion but a tremendous intellectual and organizational skillset. The TAA is poised to make further strides in addressing the real needs of Thoroughbred aftercare.”
The non-profit TAA accredits, inspects and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retire, retrain and rehome Thoroughbreds using industry-wide funding. Along with continued funding from its original partners Breeders’ Cup, The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association, the TAA is now also supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, aftercare professionals and other industry groups. To date, 64 aftercare organizations supporting more than 180 facilities across the United States and Canada have been granted accreditation and received funding from the TAA.