Norman Casse has stepped down as chairman of Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. after 27 years, but plans to remain active in sale and breeding end of the Thoroughbred horse industry. His former position with OBS was filled during a recent election by J. Michael O'Farrell, the president of Ocala Stud.
"I'm 70 years old, it was just time," said Casse, one of several people involved with launching OBS in 1974. "And I've been on the board 32 years. I am going to get more into the day-to-day working of my farm."
Casse, who remains a member of the OBS board of directors, has operated for more than 50 years under the Cardinal Hill Farm name, including at various Central Florida locations. His son Mark has been involved in the family sales and pinhooking operation for many years while training strings at such racing venues as Woodbine, but recently announced he was going to devote more time to training horses at the racetrack. Another son, Justin, has become more involved in sales in recent years and will assume a stronger presence in the Casse Sales business.
Casse says part of his legacy at the sales company will include the founding of the feed company bearing the OBS name.
"The shareholders fought me on that one, but fortunately I won," said Casse. "I figured we had a built-in market of 85 shareholders, and others in the area that needed an alternative. There have been times when the feed company made more than the sales company."
Casse is also proud of the runners produced from OBS auctions.
"Our horses consistently have made more than what they sold for," he said. "Our record is the best in the business."
O'Farrell, who is the son of the late Florida industry pioneer, Joe O'Farrell, was not immediately available for comment. Other officers elected include Francis Vanlangendonck, vice president; and Steve Silver, secretary/treasurer.