Nick Nicholson

Nick Nicholson

Anne M. Eberhardt

Nicholson Keynote Speaker at IFHA Conference

A conference panel will be moderated by Jockey Club president Jim Gagliano.

Former Keeneland Association president Nick Nicholson will talk about promoting international competition as well as industry challenges as the keynote speaker at the International Conference of Horseracing Authorities Oct. 7 at the France-Galop Offices in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.

Nicholson will speak about the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities conference's main topic, developing and promoting international competition, but also will touch upon challenges and other important issues encountered during his time in horse racing.

"As president and CEO of Keeneland Association, Mr. Nicholson skillfully preserved the traditions of an historic racing and sales organization and introduced many important innovations during his tenure," IFHA chairman Louis Romanet said in a release. "Additionally, throughout his career, Mr. Nicholson was at the forefront on a number of key efforts that have been favorable both to the North American and international horse racing industry. We are honored to have him as keynote speaker at the International Conference of Horseracing Authorities."

Nicholson is the former president of Keeneland; he held the postion from January 2000 until his retirement in September 2012. Prior to joining Keeneland, Nicholson was executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club.

Before joining The Jockey Club in 1989, he was executive vice president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders. In addition, Nicholson helped form the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and served as its first chief operating officer. He is currently the chairman of Equibase.

The IFHA conference will spotlight two main topics. The first focuses on the challenges faced with the international movement of horses and will showcase presentations from Bernard Vallat, director general of the World Organization for Animal Health, and Dr. Brian Stewart, Racing Victoria's head of Equine Welfare and Veterinary Services and chairman of the International Movement of Horses Committee.

It will include a panel discussion moderated by Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, chief executive officer of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and vice chairman of the IFHA.

The second topic centers on the marketing and branding of horse racing, and the U.S. will be well represented. Jockey Club president Jim Gagliano will moderate a panel discussion and presentations from Michael Mulvihill, senior vice president of programming and research for FOX Sports Media Group; Jean-Christophe Giletta, executive deputy general director, communication, marketing, and development for France Galop; and William Carstanjen, president of Churchill Downs Inc.

The IFHA will, for the first time, provide a live video stream of the open forum of the International Conference of Horseracing Authorities. The open forum of the conference begins at 10:30 CEST and can be viewed at A replay of the live video stream will be available in the days following the conference.