The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) Board of Directors voted at its meeting Dec. 14 to add six new directors in 2023. For a second consecutive year, Jeffrey Bloom, managing partner of Bloom Racing Stable, will serve as president of the TAA.
“It has been incredibly humbling and rewarding to serve as President of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance over the past year, and I am honored to uphold my role in 2023,” said Bloom. “I would like to extend a warm welcome to the six new directors joining our cause. As Directors for the TAA, it is our duty to act as liaisons for aftercare within the racing industry and to facilitate the TAA’s mission to accredit, inspect, and award grants to our 80+ accredited aftercare organizations.”
TAA directors may serve up to five consecutive years and after five years are required to rotate off the board for a minimum of two years before being eligible for renomination. However, directors are still eligible to serve on TAA committees. James G. Bell, former president and racing manager of Godolphin, served as TAA president in 2014, 2021, and remained on the TAA’s board and executive committee for 2022 as immediate past president. After devoting five years of their time, expertise, and resources, Bell, Walt Robertson, Susie Hart, and Nicole Walker will rotate off the TAA Board of Directors come January 2023.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance board all these years,” said Bell. “As the old saying goes: ‘We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go.’ Awareness and Aftercare are now in the same sentence, and the focus now must shift to obligation and sustainability. We are grateful to all those that have embraced this very important component to our industry.”
Bloom is joined on the executive committee by TAA Vice Presidents Craig Bandoroff, owner of Denali Stud and Madeline Auerbach, founding board member of the TAA, founder of the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), and a Thoroughbred owner and breeder; TAA Treasurer Melissa Hicks, director of tax services at Dean Dorton; TAA Secretary Walter Robertson, attorney at Stites & Harbison; Aidan Butler, chief executive officer of 1/ST Racing & Gaming; Terry Finley, founder and chief executive officer of West Point Thoroughbreds.
The directors beginning service in 2023 are: Price Bell, general manager of Mill Ridge Farm; Dr. Bonnie Comerford, DVM, veterinarian at Tiegland, Franklin, & Brokken; Joe De Francis, HISA director and managing partner of Gainesville Associates, LLC; Georganne Hale—returning for a second term–vice president of racing development of Maryland Jockey Club; Ric Waldman, president of Ric Waldman Thoroughbred Consulting, Inc, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association member; Mark Simendinger, former development manager and general manager of Kentucky Speedway, former member of Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, and former president of Turfway Park.
They join current TAA Directors: Bloom, Madeline Auerbach, Craig Bandoroff, Laura Barillaro, Dr. Jeffrey Berk, Simon Bray, Donna Brothers, Boyd Browning, Aidan Butler, Tom Cannell, Jack Damico, Terry Finley, Melissa Hicks, John Keitt, Chip McGaughey, Josh Rubenstein, Richard Schosberg, Tom Ventura.