Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps, who has served as the chairman of The Jockey Club for the past 32 years, announced Monday that he will resign his chairmanship, effective Aug. 8.
Phipps, 74, a prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder, was elected to membership in The Jockey Club in 1965. He became chairman in 1983. His tenure as chairman is the longest in the history of the organization, which was created in 1894.
"The Jockey Club has undergone many changes over the past 30 years and we have built a solid foundation that will help grow and sustain Thoroughbred breeding and racing in the years ahead," Phipps said in a news release. "Due to some ongoing health issues, I feel like this is a good time to pass the baton and I want to express my gratitude to the members and the employees of The Jockey Club for their dedication to this sport over the past three decades."
A nominating committee will recommend candidates to succeed Phipps as chairman.
Under Phipps' leadership, the organization has earned widespread recognition as an industry leader in the areas of medication reform, equine welfare, data collection and dissemination, technology and marketing of the sport.
Under Phipps' watch, some of the The Jockey Club's major works included:
■ Introducing DNA testing for parentage verification of horses.
■ Teaming with the Thoroughbred Racing Association's member racetracks to create the industry-owned database known as Equibase Company.
■ Providing financial and administrative support for a national media relations office for Thoroughbred racing.
■ Commissioning comprehensive industry studies on drug testing and sustainable growth of the sport.
In recent years, The Jockey Club has also created, funded or supported wide-ranging industry initiatives such as the Thoroughbred Safety Committee, the Equine Injury Database, the Racing Surfaces & Testing Lab, OwnerView, the Thoroughbred Incentive Program, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, the Racing Officials Accreditation Program, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, and America's Best Racing, and it has underwritten television programming for racing telecasts on the NBC and Fox networks.
The Jockey Club board of stewards currently includes Phipps, Stuart S. Janney III (vice chairman), Ian D. Highet (secretary-treasurer), Craig Fravel, John C. Harris, William M. Lear Jr., Dr. Hiram C. Polk Jr., Stella Thayer, and Peter Willmott.