Keeneland vice president Harvie Wilkinson will retire at the end of January 2011.
Wilkinson, who announced his plans Sept. 7 in a Keeneland press release, said he had been contemplating retirement for some time so that he could pursue other interests, such as teaching and consulting. Wilkinson said the “timing was right” for the change.
“For much of my career, I’ve had the honor to serve the horse industry at Keeneland. It has been a wonderful professional and personal experience for me and for my family, as I have had the opportunity to work for an association that means so much to so many in Kentucky,” Wilkinson said. “In recent months, though, I have been thinking about the next phase of my life and the professional and personal goals I want to pursue. As many of you know, I have an interest not only in our industry, but also in education.”
Wilkinson has a degree in economics and a law degree, both from the University of Kentucky. He is a noted expert in business and equine law.
Wilkinson’s “contributions to the association have been immeasurable,” said Keeneland president and CEO Nick Nicholson. “From complicated legal and financial negotiations and contracts to being a trusted adviser, Harvie has always put Keeneland first in everything that he does. He will be missed, but we wish him only the very best as he pursues other interests at which we know he will excel.”
Nicholson said that attitude of “putting Keeneland first” is continuing as Wilkinson has agreed, at Keeneland’s request, to stay on until early 2011 to help with the “legal and financial issues that inevitably arise during our sales and race meets.”