The Board of Racing NSW received notification today at its Board meeting that the Chairman, Mr John Messara AM will be retiring at the end of December 2016.
Speaking on behalf of the Board the Deputy Chairman, Mr Russell Balding AO acknowledged the significant contribution that Mr Messara has made to the thoroughbred racing industry in NSW and Australia over the 5 years of his chairmanship.
“John Messara is the longest serving Chairman of Racing NSW and is an icon in the Australian Thoroughbred Racing Industry; he will be greatly missed,” Mr Balding said.
“Under his leadership the NSW Thoroughbred 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, the establishment of a world class forensic laboratory and the licensing of veterinarians, just to name a few of his initiatives,” said Mr Balding.
Mr Messara [pictured left] said: “It’s been a privilege to serve the racing industry in such an outstanding team including the Board and the executive of Racing NSW. All of our original objectives have been achieved during the 5 years
“I wish to give special thanks to the Chief Executive, Mr Peter V’landys AM 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, The Hon Troy Grant MP and his predecessor The Hon George Souris for their guidance and support during my term in office,” Mr Messara added.
Racing NSW Chief Executive, Mr Peter V’landys AM said: “This is a very sad day for the NSW Thoroughbred Racing Industry. People won’t realise or fully appreciate the magnitude of John’s enormous contribution.
“John has been an inspirational leader with his drive, passion and commitment to the sport without peer with the achievements above speaking for themselves.
“On a personal note John’s mentoring and guidance has been invaluable to me and I have learnt a considerable amount under his chairmanship. John was also extremely popular with all the staff at Racing NSW and his loyalty to all of us is immeasurable,” Mr V’landys added.
Media statement from RacingNSW