Breeders' Cup Appoints Key Executives to Lead Operations and Strategy
Prestigious Horse Racing Organization Names New Chief Operating Officer and Chief Strategy Officer
LEXINGTON, Ky. (January 3, 2020) – The Breeders’ Cup, one of Thoroughbred horse racing’s most prestigious international events, today announces the appointment of two new executive team members: John Keitt as Chief Operating Officer and Rogers Beasley as Chief Strategy Officer. In their respective roles, Keitt and Beasley will work directly with the management team to oversee strategic planning, business development and other administrative functions at Breeders’ Cup.
“We are excited to welcome John and Rogers to the Breeders’ Cup team,” said Drew Fleming, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “With decades of experience outside and inside the Thoroughbred industry, John and Rogers bring to our organization extensive knowledge and expertise as well as proven track records of success and innovation. We are confident that they will instantly become indispensable assets to our team as we continue to grow and evolve our long-standing sport.”
As Chief Operating Officer, John Keitt will oversee the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the Breeders’ Cup, including financials, business negotiations, operations, legal, sponsorship, and marketing. Keitt will also work with the company’s management team on future domestic and international business planning and structuring, as well as industry initiatives.
“It’s an honor to join the Breeders’ Cup, which is widely recognized as one of the leading organizations in the Thoroughbred racing industry,” said John Keitt. “I look forward to working alongside Drew and the rest of the team to develop new initiatives, innovations, and opportunities that will continue to establish the brand as one of the best in the business.”
Prior to joining Breeders’ Cup, Keitt most recently served as CEO and Publisher of Thoroughbred news publication BloodHorse, where he successfully spearheaded a turnaround and restructuring of the company. Before his time at BloodHorse, Keitt worked as a strategic business advisor where he counseled international blue-chip companies and sport authorities. John also served as Senior Vice President of Global Business and General Counsel for The Associated Press responsible for worldwide administration, operations, sales, and marketing for AP’s Global Business operations.
Keitt began his professional career at Clifford Chance, formerly Rogers & Wells, before making a lateral move to Dewey Ballantine LLP. During his more than 20-year tenure as a corporate partner at two leading international law firms, Keitt advised on and executed strategic, transactional and operating initiatives for clients spanning the areas of technology, media, communications, transportation, finance and sport, including several Thoroughbred industry organizations such as the New York Racing Association, International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, Equibase, and the Jockey Club. Keitt holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College, a J.D. from the University of South Carolina and an L.L.M. from Cambridge University.
As Chief Strategy Officer, Rogers Beasley will work closely with the Breeders’ Cup management team to shape the company’s future business strategies, including future host site selection and expansion of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition. Beasley will assist in planning for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and further developing the company’s relationships with international partners.
“During my many years at Keeneland I had the privilege of working with the Breeders’ Cup and seeing firsthand the impact of the event on participants, communities and fans around the world,” said Rogers Beasley. “It’s a privilege to be joining the team and I’m excited about all that’s in store, not only for the organization, but for the industry at large.”
Beasley joins Breeders’ Cup following a 34-year tenure at Keeneland, during which he served as both Director of Sales and Director of Racing. As Director of Sales, Rogers oversaw an increase in annual sales proceeds and was accredited with the growth of Keeneland’s acclaimed racing program. He also led several progressive initiatives, including the creation of a state-of-the-art repository to promote transparency and make health information on every sales horse immediately available to veterinarians and horsemen, as well as the development of a points system to evaluate all yearlings and the inauguration of the April Two Year-Olds in Training Sale.
As Director of Racing, Beasley helped build Keeneland’s stakes program into one of the most lucrative in North America. Notably, he was instrumental in attracting the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships to Keeneland, which served as track’s inaugural hosting of the Championships and was widely regarded as one of the best in the event’s history. During his time at Keeneland, Beasley championed major safety initiatives to advance the care and protection of racing’s equine and human athletes and was a major proponent for reforms that included extensive racetrack renovations, improvements to safety equipment and the creation of the Jockey Health Information System, an industry-wide central database of jockeys’ medical records. A former voting member of the American Graded Stakes Committee and board member of Thoroughbred Club of America, Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council and Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, among other influential horseracing organizations, Beasley holds a bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University.
About Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships’ races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.
The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 championship races with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, will be held on November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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