A week and a half before one of Thoroughbred racing’s biggest events, the Kentucky Derby, Gov. Matt Bevin named 12 new members to the regulatory body that governs racing.
Bevin revamped the structure of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission “in hopes of focusing more on the industry,” according to a news release.
According to the executive order, the commission is charged with, among other things, recommending tax incentives and implementing incentive programs to ensure the strength and growth of the equine industry.
Bevin’s order states that Kentucky’s horse industry “is facing a complex set of challenges that concern the safety and well-being of jockeys and horses, the use of medications on horses, certain breeding practices, the role of gaming upon the industry, the number of races being run at Kentucky tracks and the number of horses competing in the races, and the amount of purses for horse races.”
Among the changes: secretaries of the Public Protection; Tourism, Arts and Heritage; and Economic Development cabinets who have been non-voting ex officio members will now get a vote.
Another change: the members no longer will receive $100 for each meeting they attend.
New members include former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice John Roach, retired Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, Breeders’ Cup board member Bret Jones, and Ken Jackson, founding member of the North American Standardbred Breeders Association.
“These individuals encompass the character, competence and commitment traits we need to elevate Kentucky’s horse racing industry,” Bevin said in the release. “We are fortunate to have men and women of high caliber and integrity willing to serve in these roles.”
The appointees are:
▪ Frank Kling of Villa Hills, who was appointed chairman. Kling, who is chairman and CEO of FK Holdings, a multinational holding company headquartered in Cincinnati, is a Thoroughbred breeder. He has an accounting degree from Thomas More College and is a former member of the commission. Kling and his wife are Thoroughbred breeders.
▪ John Roach of Lexington, who was appointed vice chair. Roach is a former state Supreme Court justice who has participated in stallion syndications including Congrats and Pioneerof the Nile.
▪ Lesley Howard of Lexington, who was involved in the start-up venture that created Stonestreet Farm, which is known for racing Curlin and Rachel Alexandra. She is on the board of directors of the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center and a supporter of Bluegrass Farms Charities and New Vocations, a racehorse retraining program. Howard has an accounting degree from UK.
▪ Dr. David Richardson of Louisville, chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s Graded Stakes Committee. He has published more than 350 medical articles and book chapters, and is an equine drug expert.
▪ Mark Simendinger of Edgewood, former president of Turfway Park Race Course in Florence, and president and general manager of Kentucky Speedway.
▪ Brereton C. “Bret” Jones Jr. of Midway, a founding member of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association’s 2020 campaign, which was created to give a voice to the industry’s under-40 generation. He’s been a Breeders’ Cup board director since 2011.
▪ Pat Day of Louisville, Hall of Fame champion jockey, winner of all three Triple Crown races, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
▪ Doug Hendrickson of Maysville, a former racing commissioner who is president of Limestone Associates.
▪ Kerry Cauthen of Lexington, owner of Four Star Sales and a breeder who helped develop the Kentucky Thoroughbred Breeders’ Incentive Fund.
▪ Kenneth Jackson of Lexington, an original member of the U.S. Trotting Association Blue Ribbon Breeders Committee and a founding member of the North American Standardbred Breeders Association.
▪ Gerald Holt of Munfordville, a horse owner and breeder who brings representation from small breeders and racing stables.
▪ Dr. Stuart Brown of Versailles, who specializes in equine reproduction. He was named 2014 veterinarian of the year by the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association.
▪ The secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet (currently David A. Dickerson), the secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet (Don Parkinson), and the secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development (Erik Dunnigan) are also ex officio voting members.