TRF Restructures; Taylor Appointed CEO

Non-profit organization will be based in Lexington, with office in Saratoga Springs.

As part of a restructuring, Thoroughbred owner-breeder Larry Taylor has been appointed chief executive officer of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. As part of the new restructuring, the non-profit organization has created two new positions and will have offices in Lexington, and Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

"The new structure comes in response to the growth of the organization and the increasing demand from the racing industry and fans for humane treatment of ex-racehorses," the TRF said in a release posted on its website.

According to the release, Taylor, a retired tobacco industry executive, will oversee the TRF’s multi-state operations from the TRF’s new headquarters at Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Diana Pikulski, who has served as TRF executive director for 15 years, will fill the new position of executive director for external affairs and will continue to work from the foundation’s office in Saratoga Springs.

TRF chairman Tom Ludt, president of Vinery Ltd., said in a statement that the changes are in response to the board’s recently concluded study of the TRF’s operation and mission.

"We are excited to have someone with Larry’s executive experience to manage what has become a large, complex operation," Ludt said. "Handing the operation’s reins over to Larry will free up Diana to focus on vital development and public relations issues. The restructuring of these two new positions will also provide for a more robust marketing and development effort, one that reaches beyond the racing world and sends a message of compassion for equine athletes that reflects well on the racing industry."

"I am pleased to be able to concentrate fully on funding the important mission of the TRF," Pikulski said in a statement. "The industry’s growing acknowledgement of retirement as a component of equine welfare has put an increasing financial burden on all retirement and rescue operations, but we happily accept this responsibility in partnership with the many individuals and organizations who share this vision."

"Larry is a great fit for this new position: a seasoned executive whose ties to Kentucky and the industry will help move the TRF to the next level," said TRF President Robin Williams. "Diana is a proven asset with broad contacts and a high profile in the industry. The TRF stands to gain tremendously from this team."

A Lexington native and former executive with Philip Morris, Taylor is the founder of Taylor Hall, a commercial breeding and racing operation in Midway, Ky., and has been involved in the development of Hurricane Hall and Pauls Mill farms.

"The aftercare of Thoroughbreds is extremely important and it’s something the racing public is expecting from the industry," Taylor said in the release. "Moving the TRF headquarters to Lexington reflects our growing ties to the industry we serve and will improve our ability to forge strategic partnerships with other industry organizations. We want to get more people to understand and appreciate aftercare as well as the resources it takes."