Walt Robertson, left, on the first day of the Keeneland January sale.

Walt Robertson, left, on the first day of the Keeneland January sale.

Coady Photography/Keeneland

Robertson 'Sure Happy' to be at Keeneland

Joined Keeneland's management team as vice president of sales earlier this month.

Walt Robertson enjoyed his first day at a Keeneland auction in his new role as the Lexington company’s vice president of sales.

“Everything’s been great,” said Robertson following the opening session of the January horses of all ages sale Jan. 10, which posted big increases in gross and average from 2010. “It was a good day today; I’m sure happy.”

Robertson worked for Keeneland’s biggest rival, Fasig-Tipton, for more than 30 years. When he retired from that company last November, he was the senior auctioneer and the chairman of its advisory board of directors.

Keeneland announced Jan. 4 it had hired Robertson as part of its management team and he reported for work Jan. 5.

Robertson said he spent the first session of the January sale “watching every aspect and just feeling my way around. These people know what they’re doing,” he added, “believe me.”

Years ago, Robertson worked as a bid spotter at Keeneland. But that ended in the mid-1970s.

His return to Keeneland’s auction team “wasn’t a bit strange,” Robertson said. “I’m not exactly unfamiliar with what’s going on.”

Robertson didn’t make an appearance in Keeneland’s auction on the January sale’s opening day, he but plans to start hammering down horses again at a future Keeneland auction.