Keeneland President Nick Nicholson to Speak at Distinguished Lecture Series

Keeneland Race Course President and Chief Executive Officer Nick Nicholson in the first presenter in the inaugural University of Kentucky Equine Initiative Distinguished Industry Lecture Series. He will speak at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 3 in the University of Kentucky Ag Science Center's Seay Auditorium on the corner of Limestone and Cooper. The lecture series is open to all UK students, as well as all other students from 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. Students and others in the audience will submit questrions. 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," said Nancy Cox, associate dean of the College of Agriculture, Ag Experiment Station Director, and administrative leader for the Equine Initiative. "The novel format will provide an informal atmosphere that should engender lively discussion. The informal, question-and-answer format, led by an industry leader in his own right, Dan Liebman, will provide valuable interaction with the audience."

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

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 he serves on the board of several other major industry organizations, including the NTRA; the 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.

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. In 2004, he was elected a member of The Jockey Club.

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 Shakertown.

According to Cox, the UK Equine Initiative Industry Lecture Series was designed to bring in creative and successful industry leaders who can inspire and challenge not only students, but university and public communities.

For more information about the event, please visit www.ca.uky.edu/equine or email equineinitiative@uky.edu.

Alexandra Harper is a UK equine intern and undergraduate majoring in communications.


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