04.24.14

KENTUCKY HORSE PARK COMMISSION SELECTS INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Posted in John Nicholson, Kentucky Horse Park at 8:04 pm by EPR

Ted Nicholson Chosen to Manage Park During Search for Permanent Executive Director

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2014) – The Kentucky Horse Park Commission announced today that it has selected Ted G. Nicholson as the interim executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park following the retirement of John Nicholson on April 30. Ted Nicholson will begin his tenure in May and serve until a permanent executive director is hired later this year.  A search firm is expected to begin work to conduct a nationwide search for the permanent executive director within the next 30 days.

“The Kentucky Horse Park Commission is pleased to have Ted Nicholson join our team and lead the Kentucky Horse Park during this transition period,” said Alston Kerr, chair of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission.  “With his success at operating multi-million-dollar equine and entertainment facilities at various locations throughout the country, we believe that Ted is the right person to serve as interim director.”

Nicholson currently serves as a partner with the Racing Resource Group, a horse racing consulting firm in Louisville. Prior to that, Nicholson was the vice president and general manager of the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, where he orchestrated the grand opening of the $240 million, 22,500-seat sports and concert facility.  He also served as the interim president, corporate vice president and vice president of operations at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Before coming to Kentucky, Nicholson served as the chief operating officer of the New York City Off-Track Betting.

01.16.14

Look Forward & Always Remember What We Have!

Posted in 2010 Games, 2018 Games, John Nicholson, Kentucky Horse Park, My Thoughts at 11:53 pm by Thomas

First, I will start off by saying Happy New Year, you may say I am a little late but I have learned you need to savior the New Year and give Thanks to the old before moving on.  I am thankful for many things in life, my family and friends first and the many people who cross my path if even but once but who give a piece of themselves to me.  In that regard I want to give thanks to Mr. John Nicholson for his service over the years at the Kentucky Horse Park, though we have never met but in passing, his influence and the events he has put in motion have certainly provided a unique and positive environment in which to grow in certain aspects of my life.  I wish him a well deserved, long and healthy retirement, and hopefully I will get the chance to shake his hand one day to convey my appreciation for all he has done.

Now, before shifting gears on to my resolutions, let me speak to the other side of the coin regarding Mr. Nicholson’s retirement.  I have had discussions with some today on that very topic in regards to what it means for our bid for the 2018 Games.  Again, I do not know Mr. Nicholson personally, but have listened to him enough and seen his actions to think to offer some insight into the impact of his decision which I believe he made fully with the best interest of the Horse Park in his decision.  He certainly has earned his retirement and whether we get the 2018 Games or not will certainly not diminish that and as I still believe we will be successful in our bid that will certainly be a testament to the position he has put the Horse Park in.  His stepping aside now allows for the selection of a new Executive Director with enough time before the formal bid to give that individual the time to get comfortable in their new position but not too comfortable.  My take on Mr. Nicholson would have been had he still been around in June, he would not have felt he could step down until after the 2018 Games and that would of been a lot to ask of the man, because for someone like him, preparing for the Games isn’t a job it’s a total immersion that touches every aspect of your life.  So ultimately I see his retirement as a well thought out decision with the most positive possible out come for the Horse Park.

My resolutions are simple and straight forward.  I will continue to work towards always being a better person as I get older and to be thankful for all that I have in my life.  A significant part of that will be to do what I can to be a positive influence on the conditions in Kentucky.  In regards to what I am doing here that means being dedicated to seeing Kentucky host the World Equestrian Games again and for that to be a positive to the people of the Commonwealth.

One final resolution or maybe I should call it a proclamation.  I still continue to believe that we will be successful in winning the bid to host the 2018 Games but if we are not it will not trouble me for a day because I will be working towards seeing us host at some other date in the future for Kentucky is the Horse Capital of the World as we have been blessed by the horse.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO
Thomas_P_Demond

 

10.02.13

2018 WEG is knocking, lets answer the opportunity.

Posted in 2018 Games, Alltech, Dr. Pearse Lyons, FEI, Governor Beshear, John Nicholson at 11:31 pm by Thomas

The second article in a little over the week has come out touting the possibility of the 2018 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games being back in Kentucky.  This article was written by Nancy Jaffer for EquiSearch who had discussions with both John Nicholson and Dr. Pearse Lyons and all indications from those discussions were that the idea of us hosting the 2018 Games was under active consideration, though Mr. Nicholson did temper that by saying “that should not imply a decision has been made”.

Now, based on my research and discussions with others there is certainly an opportunity for us to host the 2018 Games if we so desire.  I will go as far as to say that currently the decision has been made and indicated to FEI that we are interested in hosting them.   I should and will clarify, that is NOT information that I have gotten directly from the horse’s mouth, excuse the pun, by which I mean anyone in close contact with the 3 needed principals, Dr. Lyons, John Nicholson or the Governor  Steve Beshear.  Dr. Lyons pretty much hinted though that, that is where the decision lies at the moment, that is to say the Governor is doing the political calculation on whether there would be support for it within our Legislative body to pursue a fast track formal bid.  Now the Governor is not facing re-election but I am sure he doesn’t want to start the process of us formally submitting a bid only to then have the Legislature not provide support for it when the come back into Session after the first of the year, being as this upcoming Session will be a Budget Session for Fiscal Years 2015-2016.

My best guess/gut is a formal announcement will be made this month, possibly as early as the 10th or as late as the end of the Alltech National Horse Show which would take us into early November.  If a formal announcement one way or the other isn’t made by then I would have to say that highly suggests we are not going to pursue a bid to host.  Stay tuned as you know I will be staying on top of this story.

Here is the link to Nancy Jaffer’s article.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®