Attorney and retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Phil Hanrahan has been named chief executive officer of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.
Hanrahan, who will assume the position effective Dec. 19, was the unanimous choice of the NHBPA board of directors.
Hanrahan earned his bachelor’s degree with cum laude honors from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., and graduated magna cum laude from Washington and Lee Law School in 1986.
Hanrahan spent almost seven years on active duty in the Army as an armor officer between his obtaining bachelor’s degree and attending law school. He relocated to Lexington, Ky., following law school and for the last 25 years has specialized in bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, and equine law.
During that time, Hanrahan steadily rose through the ranks in the Army Reserve as an armor and cavalry officer, ultimately being promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and serving in two commanding general positions. He also received a master’s degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College before retiring from the military in 2009.
Hanrahan grew up working on a horse farm on Long Island, where he learned to ride in exchange for mucking stalls. He spent part of a summer – after attending paratrooper school – walking hots for Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens.
Hanrahan, who at one time was a licensed trainer, has also owned, bred, and pinhooked racehorses. He is currently a handicapper and occasional tournament player.
“Phil brings a full array of proven leadership skills to the National HBPA as a result of his vast military experiences. His quarter-century of practicing law adds legal and professional negotiation, litigation, and public speaking skills,” said NHBPA president and chairman Joe Santanna. “When we coupled those with his hands-on experiences in every facet of the Thoroughbred horse racing industry, we knew we had the right person.”