(Edited press release)
Dr. Jacquelyn (Jackie) Rich, who owns Deer Haven Farm near Lott, Texas, with her husband, Gerald, was elected president of the Texas Thoroughbred Association during a meeting of the board of directors in Austin last week. Rich succeeds Larry T. Smith, who was completing his third year as TTA president.
The board also elected three other new officers, with Mark Cornett selected as first vice president, Dr. Ken Quirk as second vice president, and Sherry Raska filling the dual role of secretary/treasurer.
John Adger, Bill Clifton, and Gene Palmieri were chosen to fill at-large positions on the executive committee, which will also include the four new officers as voting members and Smith, the immediate past president, as a non-voting member.
Rich is serving her second three-year term on the board of directors.She is the first female president of the 52-year-old state breeders’ organization. A practicing veterinarian with considerable experience on the regulatory side of racing, she and her husband are active in Texas as owners, breeders, sale consignors, and buyers, and Gerald Smith recently returned to training. Jacquelyn Rich, who is a TTA lifetime member, graduated from the college of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University.
Cornett is also in his second term on the board. He is the principal owner and operator of Turf Express, a wide-ranging racing and breeding operation based in Gainesville. Turf Express, which has been represented by two stakes winners so far this year, perennially has been among the top 50 owners by earnings in North America.
Quirk, a longtime board member and a practicing veterinarian, has operated Q6 Ranch near Salado with his wife, Linda, for nearly 20 years. The Quirks bred Dixie Meister, who was named 2006 Texas Horse of the Year and 2005 3-year-old male. The Quirks will additionally be honored for the second straight year as leading Texas breeders by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association.
Raska operates South 64, a training and sales prep facility near Fredericksburg. Raska was re-elected last year to serve a second three-year term. She is also an owner and breeder and acquired her trainer’s license last year. With her late mother, Christine Moore, Raska raced 2003 Texas-bred champion 3-year-old male Call Me Lefty.
Adger, a Houston native, is a TTA past president and is the racing and bloodstock manager for Bob and Janice McNair’s Stonerside Stable near Paris, Ky.
Clifton, a Waco businessman, is best known for racing multiple graded stakes winner Behrens, while Palmieri, owner of Silver Spur Ranch near Natalia with his wife, Judy, has headed TTA’s grassroots efforts to make legislators aware of the state of the Texas racing and breeding industry. He most recently served as TTA’s first vice president. An owner and breeder, Palmieri specializes in equine appraisals and insurance.