The Kentucky native is completing a 2-year stint as editor of the Ocala Breeders' daily sales digest WireToWire.net this week and will begin work at Team Valor in Versailles, Ky. July 24.
Born and raised in Owensboro, Hess completed undergraduate work at the University of Tennessee and in the equine program at the University of Louisville before moving to Ocala to edit the daily publication.
"I met John about 4 years ago at Keeneland and I was impressed with him," Irwin said. "He has the perfect background for our business, as grew up in a household where his father, John, participated in racing partnerships in England, where he has regularly attended meetings such as Royal Ascot.
"Team Valor has grown too big for me to run the operation out of Central Kentucky by myself. During the past few years, as we have branched out to race more internationally, I find myself traveling on a regular basis to places like Hong Kong, Dubai and South Africa. John should be able to fit right in and ease the pressure on me, and allow the company to continue its growth."
Hess will fly to Saratoga to watch the stable's Audacious Chloe and Schuylerville, as well as Oh So Awesome, who will run in the Jim Dandy (gr. II), while Irwin spends some time in England and France.