The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance announced Dec. 17 that James G. "Jimmy" Bell, president and racing manager of Darley America, has been elected as president of the organization.
Bell succeeds TAA founder Jack Wolf, managing partner of Starlight Stables, who is stepping down from the leadership role but will remain an active board member.
"I think that it is important that our organization gets fresh leadership going forward," said Wolf. "Jimmy has been very instrumental in the success of the TAA and his knowledge, experience, and commitment to aftercare make him the ideal person to fill this role. As I step down, I want to thank all of our Industry leaders for making the TAA the success that it is and ask for continued support in the years to come."
Started in 2012, the TAA was launched by Wolf with initial seed funding from The Jockey Club, Breeders' Cup, and Keeneland Association. The organization's goal is to unite those who work with and on behalf of Thoroughbred racehorses to raise funding for their responsible retirement once their careers are over, and to set a uniform standards by which to accredit aftercare facilities eligible for such funding.
Bell has served on the TAA Board of Directors since the organization was created and has been at the helm of Darley America since 2001, when Sheikh Mohammed acquired his family's Jonabell Farm. He is past president of Thoroughbred Club of America and past vice president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders. He currently serves on the boards of The Jockey Club, Keeneland Association, Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, and Fayette Alliance.
"The launch of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, awarding over $3 million in grants during its infancy stages, has been nothing short of exceptional," Bell said. "With this momentum and with this staff, board members, and commitment, we are well positioned to build on this trajectory whereby the TAA reaffirms its place as a meaningful entity in the Thoroughbred industry."
The TAA recently announced the accreditation of 19 new aftercare facilities, bringing the number of accredited equine aftercare organizations to 42. These 42 facilities received 2014 grants from the TAA totaling $2.4 million.