Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders executive director David Switzer announced June 10 that he will retire from the organization Aug. 1 after 21 years at the helm.
Chauncey Morris, recently repatriated from Australia and the former director of business development for the KTA/KTOB, has been selected by the Board to be Switzer's successor.
Associated with the Thoroughbred industry since 1958, working in both the breeding and racing sectors, Switzer has steered the KTA/KTOB through numerous milestone events and has accomplished a number of important objectives since 2000.
According to a release from the organization, some of those accomplishments include the successful negotiation with Churchill Downs and Keeneland for a high percentage of revenue to purses from all sources; in partnership with Kentucky's race tracks, established scholarship days in which 446 full-time college students have shared in $446,000 toward their tuition; KTA became a founding member and funding source for the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium in an effort to develop and promote uniform medication and testing standards at the national level; played a vital role during the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome crisis and established the KTOB Foundation to fund research pertinent to reproductive issues; initiated the Vision 20/20 group to engage and educate young industry individuals between the ages of 20-40; was instrumental in securing $28 million from the General Assembly for the renovation of the Livestock Disease and Diagnostic Lab at UK; and played a significant role in the establishment of the Kentucky Breeders Incentive Fund and the purchase of development rights programs.
"I think that I speak for all Kentucky owners and breeders in saying we owe a heartfelt debt of gratitude to David," said KTA/KTOB president Clifford Barry. "His contributions to the Thoroughbred industry leave a lasting legacy of which we can all be very proud."
The KTA noted that in his capacity as executive director, Switzer has worked quietly behind the scenes on "a multitude of important initiatives in the Thoroughbred industry. Under his tenure, the KTA has been very cautious and careful with the funds with which it has been entrusted."
In a release, Switzer said he follows the mantra from Harry Truman that "it's amazing what you can achieve when you don't care who gets the credit."
Morris is a University of Louisville graduate who spent the past 2 1/2 years as the chief executive of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Aushorse Marketing. Under his direction, the Australian Thoroughbred industry saw a dramatic increase in the export markets and investment in its industry. In addition, Morris previously served in the Kentucky governor's office as the project analyst and advisor for the Agricultural Development Fund.
"I'm pleased to welcome Chauncey," Barry said. "I can't think of a better fit to use his many strengths to build on David's successes."