Walt Robertson, who retired from Fasig-Tipton in November, will be going to work for that auction company’s biggest rival, Keeneland, in the newly created position of vice president of sales, effective Jan. 5.
“At a time when our industry needs to focus on the challenges that confront us, I am pleased that a person of the caliber and experience of Walt Robertson is joining our leadership team,” said Keeneland’s president and CEO, Nick Nicholson in a Jan. 4 press release. “I have admired Walt as a friend and a colleague for 40 years and this is a huge win for Keeneland and the entire Thoroughbred industry.”
Robertson, who worked for Fasig-Tipton for more than 30 years, was that company’s senior auctioneer and the chairman of its advisory board of directors when he retired. He will oversee and direct all functions of Keeneland's sales.
“I have had the honor of working with so many wonderful people in the industry through the years and could not turn down such an exciting opportunity,” Robertson said. “Nick and I have been friends for over 40 years and I am equally enthused about the opportunity for us to work together. So much is right with Keeneland, and although it will be a challenge, my hope is to make it even better. Keeneland has such a long and storied history and I am proud to be a part of the team.”
Robertson has served as the chairman of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission, is a former director and past president of the Thoroughbred Club of America, and is a past member of the Sayre School and The Lexington School boards of trustees. He will continue to serve as president/auctioneer for Swinebroad-Denton, a full-service real estate auction company in Lexington.
During Robertson's tenure at Fasig-Tipton, the company sold The Green Monkey for $16 million, which was a world auction record for a Thoroughbred of any type, and Better Than Honour for $14 million, which was a world auction record for a Thoroughbred broodmare. The Green Monkey was offered in 2006 at the Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training, and Better Than Honour went through the auction ring at the Kentucky November select mixed sale in 2008.
Both Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton are based in Central Kentucky.