The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) announced today that James G. ‘Jimmy’ Bell, president and racing manager of Darley America, has been elected as the new President of the organization. He succeeds TAA founder Jack Wolf, managing partner of Starlight Stables, who is stepping down from the leadership role, but will remain an active board member for the organization.
‘I think that it is important that our organization gets fresh leadership going forward,’ said Wolf. ‘Jimmy has been very instrumental in the success of the TAA and his knowledge, experience and commitment to aftercare make him the ideal person to fill this role.. As I step down, I want to thank all of our Industry leaders for making the TAA the success that it is and ask for continued support in the years to come.’
Started in 2012, the TAA was launched by Wolf with initial seed funding from The Jockey Club, the Breeders’ Cup, and Keeneland Association. The goal of the organization was and still is to unite those who work with and on behalf of Thoroughbred racehorses ‘ owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, jockeys, aftercare professionals, industry groups and others ‘ to raise funding for the responsible retirement of Thoroughbred racehorses once their careers are over, and to set a uniform Code of Standards by which to accredit aftercare facilities eligible for such funding.
Bell, who has served on the TAA Board of Directors since the organization was created, has served at the helm of Darley America since 2001, when Sheikh Mohammed acquired his family’s Jonabell Farm. Bell is the past President of the Thoroughbred Club of America and the past Vice President of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders. He currently serves on the boards of The Jockey Club, Keeneland Association, Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, and Fayette Alliance.
‘The launch of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, awarding over $3 million in grants during its infancy stages, has been nothing short of exceptional,’ Bell said. ‘With this momentum and with this staff, board members and commitment, we are well positioned to build on this trajectory whereby the TAA reaffirms its place as a meaningful entity in the Thoroughbred industry.’
The TAA recently announced the accreditation of 19 new aftercare facilities, bringing the number of accredited equine aftercare organizations to 42. These 42 facilities received 2014 grants from the TAA totaling $2.4 million.
To receive funding from the TAA, aftercare organizations must complete a rigorous accreditation process and on-site inspection, which includes a complete review of the following areas: operations; education; horse health care management; facility standards and services; and adoption policies and protocols. Organizations must also have a current status as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and must house a minimum of five Thoroughbreds, or 50% of their herd, among other criteria. To see a list of all accreditation requirements, click here: http://www.thoroughbredaftercare.org/default.asp?page=10.
Based in Lexington, Ky., the TAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization designed to serve as both an accrediting body for aftercare facilities that care for Thoroughbreds following the conclusion of their racing careers, and a fundraising body to support these approved facilities. Funded initially by seed money from Breeders’ Cup, Ltd., The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association, the TAA is comprised of and supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, aftercare professionals and other industry groups. In 2013, TAA awarded $1,000,000 to 23 accredited organizations and is on track to give out an additional $2,400,000 to 42 organizations in 2014.