Racing NSW received notification at Monday’s Board meeting that the Chairman John Messara will retire as Chairman at the end of December 2016.
Speaking on behalf of the Board, Deputy Chairman Russell Balding acknowledged the significant contribution that Messara has made to the thoroughbred racing industry in NSW and Australia over the five years of his chairmanship.
“John Messara is the longest serving Chairman of Racing NSW and is an icon in the Australian Thoroughbred Racing Industry,” Balding said. “Under his leadership, NSW Racing Industry has regained its mantle as the leading jurisdiction in the southern hemisphere.
“Annual prizemoney has all but doubled from $118 million to $203 million during his term with particular focus on Country and Provincial racing. Importantly, NSW now has a flagship carnival in The Championships.
“In addition to driving substantial commercial growth and financial sustainability in the NSW racing industry, John also deserves recognition for the measures introduced to secure the integrity of the sport, including the establishment of the Investigation and Surveillance Unit and a world class forensic laboratory plus the licensing of veterinarians, just to name a few of his initiatives
Messara said it had been a privilege to serve the racing industry in NSW. “All of our original objectives have been achieved during the five years. I wish to give special thanks to the Chief Executive, Peter V’landys who has been a tower of strength during what has been an often challenging scenario.
“I also wish to thank the Deputy Premier and Minister for Racing Troy Grant and his predecessor George Souris for their guidance and support during my term in office.”
V’landys said it was a very sad day for the NSW Thoroughbred Racing Industry. “People won’t realise or fully appreciate the magnitude of John’s enormous contribution. He has been an inspirational leader with his drive, passion and commitment to the sport without peer with the achievements above speaking for themselves.”