Keeneland hires Walt Robertson as VP of sales
WALT Robertson, who retired after 35 years of service to Fasig-Tipton in November, has been hired by his former employer's main market rival, Keeneland, as vice president of sales.
Robertson starts his new role on Wednesday, five days before the start of the Keeneland January Sale, and will oversee and direct all functions of Keeneland sales. Geoffrey Russell will continue in his role as director of sales.
Nick Nicholson, chief executive of Keeneland, said of the new appointment: "At a time when our industry needs to focus on the challenges that confront us, I am pleased that a person of the caliber and experience of Walt Robertson is joining our leadership team.
"I have admired Walt as a friend and a colleague for forty years and this is a huge win for Keeneland and the entire Thoroughbred industry."
At the time of his retirement, Robertson was a senior auctioneer and chairman of the advisory board of directors at Fasig-Tipton. The sales company twice made history while under Robertson's guidance, firstly when selling The Green Monkey for a record $16million at the 2006 Calder Two-year-olds in Training Sale and then two years later at the November Mixed Sale when selling Better Than Honour for $14 million, a record auction price for a broodmare.
He has also served as chairman of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission and president of the Thoroughbred Club of America.
"I have had the honor of working with so many wonderful people in the industry through the years and could not turn down such an exciting opportunity," said Robertson. "Nick and I have been friends for over 40 years and I am equally enthused about the opportunity for us to work together.
"So much is right with Keeneland, and although it will be a challenge, my hope is to make it even better. Keeneland has such a long and storied history and I am proud to be a part of the team."