Robert L. Evans Churchill Downs President
Thursday March 22, 2007 at Noon (ET)
After a long and distinguished career that includes successes in the technology, manufacturing, private equity capital, and Thoroughbred industries, Robert L. Evans, was named president and chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Inc. in August 2006. Evans succeeded Tom Meeker, who retired after 22 years at the CDI helm.
Over his 31-year career, Evans has distinguished himself as a leader in a variety of industries, having held senior executive positions at Caterpillar Inc., Mazda Motor of America Inc. and Accenture Ltd. More recently, Evans held top leadership positions at international technology and private equity capital companies, including Symphony Technology Group. Evans is also involved in the Thoroughbred industry as president and founder of Tenlane Farm LLC, a 260-acre commercial breeding operation in Woodford County, Ky. He has owned, bred and raced Thoroughbreds for more than two decades.
Prior to moving to Kentucky at the end of 2003, Evans worked in Palo Alto, Calif., where he served as managing director and was a co-founder of Symphony Technology Group (“STG”), a strategic holding company that invests in software and services companies. At STG, Evans led investments in and served on the boards of many portfolio companies, recruited and built management teams, and redefined and implemented new business and marketing strategies. STG was founded in 2002, and today companies for which STG has provided investment capital and strategic guidance have more than $1.2 billion in combined revenue and approximately 7,000 employees worldwide.
Evans currently serves as a board member for Aftermarket Technology Corp., and Tumri Inc., a privately held Internet advertising company. The 53-year-old native of Cincinnati, Ohio, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from MacMurray College, and a Master of Arts degree in quantitative economics from Western Illinois University.
Mr. Evans; Thanks for impartially accepting my question. I'm an avid horse fan, breeder, owner, with extensive first class world turf racing knowledge and expertise. Other than the propensive risk injury to jockey and horses, my question is two prong: Why is the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, limited to 20 runners per field and that in contrast to other major group I race in Europe? And do you see any possibilities in the future of extending the Triple Crown Races to fields of 25 or 30 horses?
Safety is the primary reason why we don’t exceed 20 runners in the Derby and Oaks. Many European courses have different layouts, generally with turns that aren’t as tight and, consequently, can handle more runners.
As a commercial breeder, do you have concerns that there are too many people breeding for the market or pinhooking for the market and not enough end users?
Every time a horse we’ve bred walks into the sales ring, I worry about whether there will be enough people.
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