Stacie Clark has been with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance since its inception in 2012, first as a board member, but she assumed the role of Operations Consultant shortly after in 2014. Raised in Ontario, Canada, she is the daughter of Thoroughbred trainer Joan Clark and owner Peter Clark.
After graduating, she worked in the film and television industry in Toronto. After four years in the field and as an assistant editor, the chance to ride races as a jockey was expiring and her career in television was put on hold.
Stacie rode as a jockey in Ontario and was nominated for the 1994 Sovereign Award as Outstanding Apprentice in Canada. When Woodbine Racetrack expanded its television department in 1999 the cross over to associate producer and racing television commentator was a natural one.
In 2004, as Thoroughbred Retirement Program Manager at Adena Springs, the first ever in-house retirement program was created. Stacie was also directly involved in the implementation and management of the aftercare programs at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park.
In 2013, Stacie co-produced HRTV’s Eclipse Award-winning and Emmy-nominated documentary “Saratoga War Horse.” Stacie has made numerous presentations on behalf of Thoroughbred aftercare throughout North America as well as in the U.K. and Japan.
Emily Dresen is a rider-turned-racer Ocala, Florida native who is passionate about Thoroughbred aftercare.
Previously, she worked at a major breeding farm in Kentucky in Thoroughbred consignment and stallion season sales before joining the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance as the Funding and Event Coordinator. As TAA Funding and Event Coordinator, she focuses on assistance and development of participating and prospective donors and supporters, while also overseeing all aspects of event planning and management.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in equine business from the University of Louisville. Now, she enjoys spending time with her family on their farm in Paris, KY.
Alexandra Kokka joined the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance in 2019 as the Marketing and Data Coordinator. She first came to the TAA as an intern during her final semester at the University of Kentucky. A recent graduate, she earned her bachelor’s degree in UK’s Equine Science and Management program.
Now, she is responsible for assisting with the TAA’s marketing duties, overseeing the Horse Farm Management records of all accredited organizations, as well as collecting and analyzing data.
As a lifelong horse lover born and raised in Fresno, California she competed regularly in 4H and hunter/jumpers as well as volunteering in equine-assisted therapy programs and horse camps during the summer.
Upon graduation from high school, she and her mount Rolando made the natural move to the bluegrass where she continues to pursue her passion in the equine industry.
Suzie Picou-Oldham came to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance in December of 2017 and serves as the Inspections Coordinator. She inspects and organizes inspections for accredited organizations around the country. A lifelong industry professional, she has been a winning jockey, owner, breeder, and bloodstock agent.
Past positions include stallions season sales, co-syndicate management and marketing at Dixiana Farm, Spendthrift Farm, Stonewall Farm, and Darby Dan Farm. She began her post riding career in advertising at the Thoroughbred Record, the Thoroughbred Times, and as a photographer for racing publications nationally and abroad including the Daily Racing Form. She also served as a customer service representative at OwnerView.com and the Thoroughbred Owner Conference.
Besides her devotion to aftercare and off-track Thoroughbreds, she is a committee member and supporter of Jockeys and Jeans that benefits the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Foundation. Horse racing is a steep family tradition for Suzie as her father and uncle, Clarence and Jimmy Picou were both jockeys and successful trainers for many years. Furthermore, her husband, John was a long time jockey and daughter Jessica rode racehorses as well.
Steve Ruddy has been the Financial Manager for the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance since 2015. He is responsible for the day-to-day financing and controller duties while preparing the yearly budget and serving on the TAA’s accrediting and finance committees. Prior to joining the TAA, he worked in banking for 12 years in loans and marketing analysis.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Georgetown College and a master’s degree in business from Eastern Kentucky University.
Although he is new to the equine industry, he has enjoyed learning all that horses have to offer to the community and to the sport of racing.
Erin Shea is the Marketing and Communications Manager at the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. She is a member of the Turf Publicists of America and is a volunteer at the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.
She writes about aftercare for the BloodHorse and for Thoroughbred Racing Commentary. In addition to her equine journalism work, she has also covered fashion, travel, music, and dog sports for various outlets.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
She grew up competitively showing hunter/jumpers, riding mostly off-track Thoroughbreds.
Janice Towles has functioned as the Accreditation and Grants Manager for the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance since its inception in 2012. Her main role is to review the accreditation applications that are submitted each year and assist accredited organizations with their accreditation and grant application. Prior to joining the TAA, she was the Manager of Registration Services and the Mail Center at The Jockey Club.
She attended Morehead State University on a basketball scholarship and completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in business administration.
Her hobbies include running, watching and attending sporting events, reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
She is a member of numerous associations including The Thorobreds, Morehead State Foundation Board of Trustees, Morehead State University Alumni Association, St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Fayette County Election Office, and Belfry High School Hall of Fame. As well as holding a license as a Notary Public.