The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation announced May 10 that Rob Hinkle has been named Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.
Prior to TRF, Hinkle served as Chief Operations Officer at The World Games 2010 Foundation, which produced and managed the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games - the quadrennial world championships for eight equestrian sports. Previously, he was director of operations at The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington and director of equine operations for The Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Florida. He received a degree in equine administration from the University of Louisville.
“Rob has a proven track record in this industry and we’re excited for him to join us in providing much-needed care and services for retired racehorses.,” George Grayson, president of TRF, said in a statement. “Adding Rob to the organization is another important step in ensuring we meet our long-term administrative and fundraising goals for caring for these great and aging animals.”
“Like all non-profits, TRF has faced significant hurdles in fundraising during this difficult economic climate, but we are proud to say that we have weathered the storm and are hopeful about our future,” said TRF board chairman Tom Ludt. “The recent completion of the independent evaluation of the entire TRF herd also confirms that while there are still administrative gaps that need to be addressed, the horses overall are doing very well.”
The financial problems associated with providing care to some 1,200 retired horses that are housed at satellite farms under contract with TRF surfaced earlier this year following publication in the New York Times of an article that described some of the horses as being in poor condition. That report came as the TRF was undertaking a comprehensive veterinary inspection of its herd.
Since then, Ludt and Grayson have called for an industry-wide meeting to identify and generate significant and stable revenue streams for the care of retired Thoroughbreds. Initial steps have been taken to engage other foundations, business leaders, institutions, and Congressional members to help organize the event, according to the TRF.
The release said Hinkle will be based in Lexington.