Jim Gallagher, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, has announced his resignation. Gallagher will step down Oct. 1, 2006.
"I really enjoyed my time working with the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority but I was torn between a job I really liked and my family," Gallagher said. "I feel very fortunate to have had the job and I feel like we got a lot of things accomplished, but I didn't feel like I was being a very good husband, father, and son. Basically, it all came down to family issues."
During Gallagher's tenure, which began Sept. 27, 2004, the KHRA adopted more stringent racing medication rules, hired more veterinarians and began implementing a new breeders' incentive program.
Gallagher plans to remain actively involved with the KHRA until his departure. "I want the transition to be as smooth as possible," he said. "As much as we got accomplished, there are still more things to be done, and I want to help the authority members as much as I can before I leave."
Gallagher was selected for the position following a nationwide search for an executive director after Governor Ernie Fletcher abolished the former Kentucky Racing Commission and established the new authority.
William Street, chairman of the KHRA, said the agency will miss its first executive director. "Jim Gallagher has proved to be an outstanding executive director and his experience in the industry served him and the authority well the past two years," Street said.
Gallagher had previously served as vice president of regulatory compliance and as vice president of pari-mutuel operations for the New York Racing Association.