ABOUT THE NSA
The National Steeplechase Association, based in Fair Hill, Maryland, is the headquarters of American steeplechase racing. In its capacity as the official sanctioning body of U.S. steeplechase racing, the National Steeplechase Association licenses participants, approves racecourses, trains officials, coordinates race entries, enforces rules, compiles an official database, and oversees the national marketing and public relations of the sport. As an authority and a resource, the NSA provides essential services and information to participants and fans alike. The National Steeplechase Association takes its role as the guiding hand of this proud sport’s legacy very seriously and is dedicated to preserving its tradition and history.
The NSA has 5 standing committees:
The Stewards’ Advisory Committee is charged with maintaining the highest levels of integrity for NSA racing. The Committee maintains the Rules of Racing and recommends rule changes for adoption by the Board of Directors. Formed in 2008, the Stewards’ Advisory Committee supervises and monitors all officials at NSA-sanctioned race meets, and it conducts annual continuing education seminars that are required for all stewards serving at those meets. Through the Stewards’ Advisory Committee, the NSA is a member of the Racing Officials Accreditation Program (ROAP).
The Safety Committee works to maintain and enhance the highest safety standards to protect the well-being of horses and jockeys. Founded as a task force in 2012, it became an NSA standing committee the following year. Chaired by Dr. Reynolds Cowles, the NSA’s Equine Medical Director, the Safety Committee examines all aspects of NSA racing and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors for action intended to increase the sport’s safety. Containing a broad cross-section of the sports’ stakeholders, the Safety Committee also makes recommendations for safety-related improvements to race meets.
The Hearing, Review and Appeals Committee is charged with hearing appeals arising from alleged violations of the Rules of Racing. The committee is appointed by the Board of Directors and currently all three members of the Committee are lawyers with broad knowledge of racing in general and steeplechasing. Any person who is the subject of any order or ruling of the Stewards or the Stewards’ Advisory Committee may appeal to the Committee for a review. Decisions of the Hearing, Review and Appeals Committee are final decisions of the NSA, and no appeal may be taken thereon.
The Promotion and Growth Committee is tasked with attracting new race meets, owners and patrons of the sport. Formed as a task force in 2014, it became an NSA Committee in 2015. The Committee inaugurated the Owner-Trainer Symposium and Auction in 2015 and hosted a Saratoga Racecourse hospitality event to explain the sport’s appeal at flat racing’s most popular meet that year. The Committee also has conducted surveys of steeplechase participants and created advertisements featuring flat owners who also participate in jump racing. The Promotion and Growth Committee’s focus is “growing the sport.”
The Ratings Committee was formed in 2015 with the intention of developing a handicap system to create more racing opportunities for NSA horsemen. Modeled after the European system, horses that have won over hurdles are assigned a rating, which is reviewed each time the horse runs. Races are written for horses rated at a certain number or below that number, with the highest rated horse assigned 158 lbs. and all other weights adjusted accordingly based on the current ratings. The original committee consisted of racing journalist Joe Clancy, chart caller Martin Chamberlin, and race announcer Will O'Keefe, with oversight by NSA Director of Racing Bill Gallo. In January 2022, the NSA's Harper McVey replaced Will O'Keefe on the committee. In June 2022, Bill Gallo replaced Martin Chamberlin.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND STAFF
Thomas J. Collins
P. Douglas Fout
Alfred C. Griffin, Jr.
Mason H. Lampton
Jeffrey L. LeHew
Guy J. Torsilieri
Chairman – Guy J. Torsilieri
President – Alfred C. Griffin, Jr.
Vice President – Thomas J. Collins
Secretary – Jeffrey L. LeHew
Treasurer – Mason H. Lampton
Director of Racing – Bill Gallo
Business Administrator – Emery Jones Taylor
Assistant to the Director of Racing – Harper McVey
Official Photographer and Contributing Editor – Tod Marks
HISTORY OF JUMP RACING
Steeplechasing, in America and elsewhere, is a sport that celebrates the long and close relationship between man and the horse. Today’s international sport grew out of the hunting field, where riders depended upon the athleticism, strength, speed, and sure-footedness of their horses to carry them safely over fence, field, and stream.
Steeplechasing traces its lineage to Ireland in the mid-18th century, and in recent decades its beauty and excitement have attracted the participation of leaders in commerce and industry. In England, HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was an avid fan and participant for more than a half century, and Prince Charles has ridden in steeplechase races. In the United States, families bearing such well-known names as duPont, Mellon, Vanderbilt, Whitney, Widener, Clark, and Phipps have raced horses over fences.
Support Jump Racing in America and Join the NSA
By becoming a member of the National Steeplechase Association, you can help support steeplechasing
in America. The NSA offers three unique membership options (Historian, Patron and Member), each with exclusive benefits.
To learn more or join the National Steeplechase Association, click the button below.