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Vanlangendonck succeeds O’Farrell as chairman of OBS board

Francis Vanlangendonck became the fifth chairman of the board in the history of Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company, Inc. Mike O’Farrell steps down after nearly 40 years as an OBS board member. George Onett was the first chairman in 1975, followed by Harry T. Mangurian, Jr., Norman Casse and Mike O’Farrell.

Vanlangendonck operates Summerfield Sales with his wife Barbara. Prior to being elected chairman, Francis has been an OBS board member since 1990, became secretary/treasurer in 2005 and then vice president from 2007-2021. Summerfield has been a perennial leading consignor at the OBS yearling and mixed sales. Last year, Summerfield ranked 15th nationally with yearling sales of nearly $9 million. Their full-service farm includes a swimming pond for rehabilitation and to prep and condition yearlings.

Mike O’Farrell was elected to the OBS board in 1983, was vice president from 1986-2006 and chairman since 2007 before stepping down this year. The O’Farrell family’s Ocala Stud has been a mainstay in Ocala since 1956 with Mike and his two sons, David and Joe now directing operations. Ocala Stud is synonymous with the Florida breeding industry and OBS. His father, Joe O’Farrell, was a true promoter of Florida breeding and pioneer of the two-year-old in training sale concept. He was one of the founding members of Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company, Inc. in 1974 and the first vice president of OBS.

Barry Eisaman was elected vice president of the OBS board. Dr. Eisaman, a veterinarian, has been secretary/treasurer of OBS since 2010 and was first elected to the OBS board in 1996. Along with his wife Shari, Eisaman operates Eisaman Equine which is a constant presence and leading consignor at the OBS Two-Year-Old in Training Sales.  Many of the top racing stables in the country rely on Eisaman Equine to provide the foundation for their young horses for their racing career and to rehabilitate older horses for their return to the races.

Mark Casse was elected Secretary/Treasurer. Mark and his wife Tina manage the vast Casse Racing operations from their base in Ocala. Mark has been an OBS board member since 2001 and his father Norman was a founding member of OBS and chairman of the board of OBS for over twenty years. Mark has won over 3,200 races as trainer with career earnings approaching $200 million. He has been inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Joining the OBS Board for the first time are David O’Farrell, Ocala Stud and Paul Sharp, Paul Sharp Stables. The rest of the board includes Tom Ventura, President; Carl Bowling; Nick de Meric, de Meric Sales; Jimbo Gladwell, Top Line Sales; Jesse Hoppel, Coastal Equine; John Penn, Pennston Farm; Bryan Rice, Woodside Ranch; and Eddie Woods.