Campus News

Keeneland President to Speak at UK

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2009) – Nick Nicholson, president and CEO of  Keeneland, will speak at the inaugural event of the University of Kentucky Equine Initiative Distinguished Industry Lecture Series Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Seay Auditorium in the Agricultural Science Center North, on the corner of Limestone and Cooper on UK's campus.

The lecture series is open to all UK students, as well students from other Kentucky colleges and universities. The general public is also encouraged to attend.

Dan Liebman, editor-in-chief of The Blood Horse Magazine, will interview Nicholson. Questions will be submitted by students and others in the audience. There will be three main areas of discussion: Nicholson’s career path, Keeneland, and the general state of the horse industry.

“We are very pleased to have such an accomplished individual for the inaugural lecture in this series. The novel format will provide an informal atmosphere that should engender lively discussion,” said Nancy Cox, associate dean for research of UK’s College of Agriculture, Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station director and administrative leader for the Equine Initiative.

[IMAGE1]Prior to joining Keeneland, Nicholson was the executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club, which maintains the official pedigree of all North American thoroughbreds. During his tenure, The Jockey Club implemented several innovations, including the introduction of The Jockey Club Interactive, the world’s first interactive thoroughbred registration system.

Nicholson is the current chairman of the American Horse Council, and serves on the board of several other major industry organizations including the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which he helped form and where he served as the first chief operating officer; Equibase, the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau; and the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Foundation. He is a past president of the Thoroughbred Club of America and also served as vice chairman of the International Catalog Standards Committee.

“Inaugurating this series with Nick Nicholson is fitting because of his leadership status in the international thoroughbred community,” said Scott Smith, College of Agriculture dean. “Under his leadership, Keeneland is recognized as an iconic symbol of the Bluegrass.”

For his many contributions to the industry, Nicholson received the Lifetime Service Award from the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, as well as The Jockey Club Gold Medal.

Nicholson’s community involvement includes serving on the boards of the Urban League, Commerce Lexington Inc., KET Commonwealth Fund, Transylvania University, the Dermontti Dawson Foundation, and Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.

For more information about the event, please visit or e-mail