01/19/2007 1:00AM

Steeplechase group names head


The National Steeplechase Association has named Francis H. Abbott Jr. as its president, taking over from Jonathan Sheppard, who served from 2004 to 2006.

Abbott, 53, runs a bloodstock consulting firm, Abbott Bloodstock. He directed the Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern, Pa., for 25 years and has been a board member of the steeplechase association since 2003, serving as its secretary from 2004 to 2006.

The association also announced its executive committee on Friday, naming Guy Torsilieri as vice president, Sam Slater as treasurer, and Doug Fout as secretary. Sheppard will remain on the board as chairman.

The other members of the board are Austin Brown, Edgar Cato, Peter Fenwick, Jack Fisher, Dwight Hall, Gillian Johnston, Ken Luke, Ernie Oare, Frank Petramalo, and Peggy Steinman.