Thomason Retires as Keeneland’s President and CEO

In July, Keeneland President and CEO William W. “Bill” Thomason, Jr. (Theta–Kentucky ’74) announced that he would be retiring from the global horse racing and sales company to spend more time with his family at the end of 2020.

“Bill Thomason has led Keeneland with passion and integrity and with a commitment to its customers and a devotion to the Keeneland team,” Keeneland Trustee Everett Dobson said. “People who care as much as Bill are what makes Keeneland so incredibly special. He leaves a tremendous legacy of service to Keeneland, the horse industry and the community, and his accomplishments have indelibly shaped the future of our sport.”

After growing up in London, Kentucky, and earned an accounting degree from the Univerity of Kentucky, Bill ended up at Mill Ridge Farm, a full-service thoroughbred farm that has a rich history of raising and selling some of the best thoroughbred racehorses in the world. After retiring from Mill Ridge, Bill eventually left his retirement and joined Keeneland as their Chief Financial Officer, only to be promoted two years later as their seventh president.

Bill navigated Keeneland through a decade of substantial growth and change in the Thoroughbred industry.

“Keeneland and the Thoroughbred industry have been very fortunate to have Bill Thomason as President and CEO of Keeneland for the past eight years,” Fleming of Breeders’ Cup said. “Under Bill’s leadership, Keeneland implemented numerous significant initiatives that will leave a lasting positive impact on the Thoroughbred business, including Keeneland’s hosting of the groundbreaking 2015 Breeders’ Cup and being a co-founder of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition. It has been a real pleasure to work closely with Bill, and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.”