The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has named Dr. Nat T. Messer IV and Christopher Scherf to its board of directors.
"Nat Messer and Chris Scherf have been elected to serve on our board, as their commitment to the plight of retired Thoroughbred racehorses is unquestioned," said John C. Moore, TRF chairman and president, in a release. "Both gentlemen are quite familiar with the problem of the unwanted horse, and their ideas and suggestions will certainly resonate with those of our existing board members."
Messer is currently a consultant to the University of Missouri's department of veterinary medicine and surgery, where he served as the equine center director for seven years and as a professor from 2008-2012. He is a recipient of the distinguished service award (2001) and named a distinguished life member (2012) of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.
Scherf, a well-known figure in the racing industry, is the executive vice-president of Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America, which represents member racetracks in regulatory, legislative, and other industry matters. In 1990, the TRA formed Equibase with The Jockey Club, thereby creating an industry-owned database of racing information that enabled the unfettered growth of full-card simulcasting.
A graduate of the University of Maryland College Park, Scherf was a former sports writer and editor for United Press International. He was also the manager of press relations for the New York Racing Association.
The TRF's Diana Pikulski added that both Messer and Scherf will extend the TRF's reach and its influence in key areas to aid its mission of providing safe haven for horses no longer able to compete on the racetrack.
"Dr. Messer served as chair of the Equine Welfare Committee of the AEEP for several years and he also served on the Animal Welfare Committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association until recently, and was liaison to the Unwanted Horse Coalition from 2006-2012," Moore said in a statement. "Through his position at the TRA, and with his years of industry knowledge, Chris brings us closer to the 48-member racetracks comprising the TRA. Quite obviously, the horses coming to the TRF come from those tracks, and we are looking forward to Chris's input on both extending and improving relations with those racetracks."