Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard was elected president of the National Steeplechase Association. He succeeds George Strawbridge, who ends a five-year stint in the unpaid position.
Sheppard, a Pennsylvania resident, heads a 15-member board of directors and is the 13th president in the NSA1s 109-year history. The 63-year-old English native, whose stable has included leading sire Storm Cat, grade I winner With Anticipation and Hall of Fame steeplechasers Flatterer and Cafe Prince, never counted on accepting the post.
Sheppard steps in at a time of growth in American steeplechasing. Last year, participation numbers like horses (570), owners (358), races (228) all showed strong increases. Total purses at 34 NSA meets and eight host racetracks reached $4,947,230, the second-highest total in history.