Keeneland President Nick Nicholson Announces His Retirement

Apr 18, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky.  – Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson will retire from his post on September first, the track announced earlier today.  He will be succeeded by current Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bill Thomason.

Nicholson has been the President and CEO of Keeneland for nearly 13 years.

“Keeneland is a tradition and an entity like no other,” said Keeneland Trustee Louis Lee Haggin, III.  “We understand and respect why Nick made his decision, but his daily presence and vision will be missed.  Through this process, we have examined leaders inside and outside of the industry and unquestionably have found the right person to lead Keeneland and provide the necessary continuity. We are confident that the momentum Nick has created will continue with Bill and the current leadership team for many years to come.”

“It has been an honor to serve the community and the industry as President of Keeneland.  I have enjoyed every single day of it and have just as much passion for the future of our sport as I did on my first day at Keeneland,” Nicholson said.

 “While I will miss the daily interaction with the fans and the Keeneland family, I am thrilled with the selection of Bill Thomason. Bill has incomparable experience in both the financial and equine sectors.  He is knowledgeable in both the racing and sales aspects of our business and knows all that is involved in bringing a consignment to the Keeneland sales.   In my opinion, he is uniquely poised to lead Keeneland during this vitally important time for Thoroughbred racing.”

 Nicholson will remain in an advisory role with Keeneland and continue to work with the racing and sales company on domestic and international relationships.  

 Thomason will officially start in his new role September 1 and will be Keeneland’s seventh President. Thomason has been a part of the Keeneland leadership team since June 2010 and previously served the industry for 28 years as Financial and Administrative Manager at Mill Ridge Farm.

WUKY is following this breaking story and will provide updates throughout the day.