John Messara to head Racing NSW board

John Messara to head Racing NSW boardJohn Messara has been named as the chair of the new seven-person board of Racing NSW, the state’s administrative body for thoroughbred racing.

Racing minister George Souris announced the make-up of the board on Tuesday with his immediate predecessor, Kevin Greene, among the successful candidates.

Two members of the old board, Alan Brown and Ken Brown, will sit on the new board.

Advertising industry executive Naseema Sparks will be the deputy chair and the other members are Russell Balding and Ken Hodgson.

Alan Bell, Kim Harding and Arthur Inglis will relinquish their positions.

The proprietor of Arrowfield Stud, Messara has been credited with revolutionising the Australian breeding industry as a pioneer of the shuttling of northern hemisphere stallions to Australia in their off season.

As well as being a breeder, he is a successful racehorse owner and former president of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia.

“The new team is of a very high standard and I am most pleased with the breadth and range of skills and experience it brings, including that of the Hon Kevin Greene who speaks for the racegoing public,” Souris said.

The selection panel for the new board comprised retired magistrate David Armati, former NSW Police Minister Paul Whelan and former premier John Fahey.

As well as determining skills, the panel assessed applicants in terms of the provisions in the Thoroughbred Racing Act relating to potential conflicts of interest and whether those matters could be managed or were incompatible with membership of Racing NSW.