Jack B. Owens, an owner-breeder from Modesto, Calif., was elected chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California during a board meeting Sept. 6. Owens, a member of the TOC board since 1995 and most recently vice president, replaces Gary Burke, who died Aug. 7.
The TOB board also elected Ron Charles as vice chairman, and appointed Mace Siegel to fill Burke's vacancy on the board. Siegel served on the TOC board from 1995-2000, and has continued as a member of the TOC purse committee.
Burke honored Siegel with the Chairman's Award for Siegel's many contributions to the Thoroughbred industry at the TOC annual meeting Aug. 4, just days before his death.
Owens, the new chairman, has owned and bred horses for 20 years, and has raced almost exclusively in Northern California. He has been the general counsel for Gallo Winery for 20 years, and serves as executive vice president of the company.
Owens has practiced law for 30 years and successfully argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and was appointed to California Gov. Gray Davis' Agricultural and Water Transition Team.