Lexington, Ky. (Friday, May 10, 2019) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, announced changes and additions to the KEEP Board of Directors, following a meeting of the board on May 9, 2019.

Five new individuals were added to the KEEP Board of Directors: Sean Beirne, Debra Hamelback, Carl McEntee, Ted Nicholson and Dr. Andy Roberts. Beirne is the Director of the University of Louisville Equine Industry Program. Hamelback is the Executive Director of the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association. McEntee is President of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club and Managing Partner of Ballysax Bloodstock.  Nicholson is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Kentucky Downs. Dr. Roberts is a veterinarian and a member of the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians Board of Directors.

Doug Cauthen, partner of Doug Cauthen Thoroughbred Management, LLC, will continue to serve as chairman of KEEP. Cauthen is joined in leadership by Ken Jackson who will continue serving as vice chairman of KEEP. Jackson is a partner of Kentuckiana Farms and Lexington Selected Sales Company.

Leaving the board, which coincides with the sale of his interest in Kentucky Downs, is Corey Johnsen who had served as the longtime chairman of KEEP’s Board of Directors.

Commenting on Johnsen’s tenure on the board of KEEP, Elisabeth Jensen, KEEP’s Executive Vice President who oversees the organization’s operations, said, “KEEP and the Kentucky horse industry owe a great deal of thanks to Corey for his steadfast leadership and guidance. His leadership in establishing Historical Horse Racing at Kentucky Downs led to adjunct revenue streams for racetracks and supplemented purses to the tune of $30 million since its inception. Corey has been integral to the work of KEEP and we are grateful for his dedication to the organization.”

Chairman Cauthen commented on KEEP and the organization’s new board members, saying, “KEEP has had many successes. Most economically significant is the implementation of the Kentucky Breeder’s Incentive Fund which has paid breeders over $141 million for breeding successful runners. KEEP also assisted significantly with the passage of Historical Horse Racing and has supported its implementation at the racetracks in Kentucky, which has not only helped the tracks, but, most importantly, increased purses dramatically. The trickle down economic impact for Kentucky is significant, in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Keeping and growing the horse industry for all breeds is the core of KEEP’s mission, and we need passionate and motivated board members to continue that. KEEP is focused on the future of the industry and that includes the recent position the organization has taken on the health and safety of the horse. The new board members that we have added will help us continue this success and evolve to meet the new challenges that KEEP and the horse industry will face.”

The Kentucky Equine Education Project, Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, is a not-for-profit grassroots organization created in 2004 to preserve, promote and protect Kentucky’s signature multi-breed horse industry. KEEP is committed to ensuring Kentucky remains the horse capital of the world, including educating Kentuckians and elected officials of the importance of the horse industry to the state. KEEP was the driving force in the establishment of the Kentucky Breeders Incentive Fund, which has paid out more than $141 million to Kentucky breeders since its inception in 2006, and pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse racing, which has been responsible for more than $32 million to purses and more than $24 million to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

KEEP works to strengthen the horse economy in Kentucky through our statewide network of citizen advocates. To learn more about how you can become a member or support our work, please visit www.horseswork.com.