Executive Director Roy Wood of the California Horse Racing Board announced that he intends to retire at the end of this year.Wood, who will turn 61 in October, has held the post since January 1, 1994.He said he and his wife, Gennie, already have purchased a retirement home in her native Louisiana. "California is a paradise for most of us, but it's a different story for people with respiratory problems, including my wife Gennie," explained Wood. "She has not been able to adapt to the air quality in the Sacramento area, and it is on the advice of her medical counselors that she should not remain a resident of this area. "As much as I love California and as proud as I am to be part of the California horseracing industry and an official with the California Horse Racing Board, my first priority is my family, so the decision to move back to Louisiana was easier for me to make.Roy Minami, the assistant executive director who served as interim director in 1993 during the yearlong search for a replacement for then-executive secretary Dennis Hutcheson, will be overseeing the daily operation of the CHRB until a permanent replacement is found for Wood."The Board appreciates the many years of devoted service that Roy has given to the people of California and to the racing industry," said Chairman John Harris. "And we appreciate that he will help us with a smooth transition as we look for a replacement."Immediately before joining the CHRB in 1994, Wood was director of racing for the Texas Racing Commission. Previously he was a Louisiana state steward and assistant executive director for the Louisiana State Racing Commission.
Prior to entering public service, Wood worked in various capacities in the Thoroughbred racing industry, including owner, breeder, trainer, horse identifier, and farm manager. He hopes to put all of that experience to good use following his retirement. He is finalizing plans to assist in the management of Foxwood Plantation, which is Louisiana's leading Thoroughbred breeding operation.