Jack B. Owens was unanimously elected interim chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California by the organization's board of directors during its meeting Feb. 16. This is the third stint as chairman of the TOC for Owens, who previously served in the role from 2001-03 and again from 2004-05.
Owens replaces Arnold Zetcher, who was elected chairman last July and announced his retirement earlier this month to spend more time overseeing his racing stable. Owens is to hold the position at least until the expiration of that one-year term in August.
He previously served on the TOC's board of directors from 1994 to 2005 and was reappointed last November following the resignation of David Bloom. The TOC serves as the official state representative of Thoroughbred horsemen.
In a released statement, Owens said: “As an owner of 30 years, I am grateful that there is an organization dedicated to the advancement of owners’ business interests in the industry, comprised of good people who volunteer their time as a public service to the industry, and backed up by an experienced and dedicated staff. As owners, we need this kind of representation, and we need to preserve continuity in the TOC, given its track record of achievement and the need for an organization to protect owners’ rights.”
Owens, of Modesto, Calif., is a retired executive vice president and general counsel of the E. & J. Gallo Winery. A graduate of Stanford Law School, he practiced in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, Calif., and has worked in government service. He also taught law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., and Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, Calif., in addition to serving on numerous boards and governmental advisory groups.