Virginia Gold Cup’s Dr. Al Griffin Elected NSA President

The following piece appeared on and was written by Don Clippinger.

Dr. Alfred C. Griffin Jr., the co-chair of the Virginia Gold Cup who played a key role in keeping pari-mutuel racing alive in his home state during Colonial Downs’ closure, was elected president of the National Steeplechase Association at Friday’s NSA Board of Directors meeting.

The Warrenton, Va., orthodontist succeeds Guy J. Torsilieri, who was elected as the NSA’s chairman. Torsilieri, who served as the NSA’s president for 11 years before declining to seek another term, was elected as the NSA’s chairman. He succeeds Beverly R. Steinman, who retired from the board at the conclusion of her term last year.

Dr. Al Griffin (middle) is pictured with NSA Board members Meriweather Morris and Guy Torsilieri


Also elected were Virginia Lazenby as vice president, Robert Bonnie as secretary, and Mason Hardaway Lampton as treasurer.
“I am honored and humbled to be elected the National Steeplechase Association’s president,” Dr. Griffin said. “Under Guy Torsilieri’s leadership, steeplechasing has placed itself on an upward trajectory, and I will strive to foster continued growth into a bright, sustainable future for our sport, our horsemen, and our race meets.”

Dr. Griffin has wide-ranging experience in his professional career, Virginia horse racing, and fox-hunting. He is in the practice of Orthodontics in Warrenton and Middleburg for the last 35 years and is a diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.
He also teaches biomechanics and clinical practice at Harvard University’s School of Dental Medicine. He served as the first dental director of the Fauquier Free Clinic, which he and other Northern Virginia dentists founded more than 20 years ago to serve those unable to afford medical and dental care.

The spring Virginia Gold Cup is the largest annual NSA event.

With Dr. Will Allison, he is co-chair of the Virginia Gold Cup, the NSA’s largest meet by attendance, and the International Gold Cup in the fall. After Colonial Downs’ former owner shut the Richmond-area track in 2013, Dr. Griffin played a key role in forming the Virginia Equine Alliance and in obtaining legislative approval for the alliance to serve as the state’s pari-mutuel entity.
During his tenure, the International Gold Cup inaugurated pari-mutuel wagering under supervision of the Virginia Racing Commission in October 2012, and the Virginia Gold Cup added betting the following May.

He became a member of the NSA’s Board of Directors in 2012 and has served as chair of the NSA’s Promotion and Growth Committee. He has been the NSA’s secretary since 2018.

In addition to serving as race director for the two meets at Great Meadow Race Course, he was master of fox hounds for the Warrenton Hunt for 18 years.