10/11/2010 5:49PM

Robertson, senior auctioneer at Fasig-Tipton, retiring


Fasig-Tipton's chairman and senior auctioneer, Walt Robertson, will retire at the end of November after 35 years with the Kentucky-based auction house.

Robertson, 61, got his first job at Fasig-Tipton in 1975 as a bid-spotter and rose through the ranks, becoming company president in 1992. He was appointed chairman of Fasig-Tipton's board of advisers in 2008 after Dubai-based Synergy Investments acquired the company.

As auctioneer, Robertson has sold four Kentucky Derby winners, starting with 1994 winner Go for Gin, who sold at Fasig-Tipton's November mixed sale in 1991 and again at its Saratoga select yearling sale in 1992. He later presided over the sales of 2003 winner Funny Cide at the 2001 New York-bred yearling sale, 2009 winner Mine That Bird at the 2007 October yearling sale in Kentucky, and 1991 winner Strike the Gold, who went through a May horses of training sale in 1992 at age 4, where William Condren and Joseph Cornacchia bought out partner B. Giles Brophy.

Robertson also wielded the gavel when The Green Monkey brought a world-record Thoroughbred auction price of $16 million at Fasig-Tipton's 2006 select 2-year-old sale at Calder Race Course.

"Fasig-Tipton has occupied pretty much all my working life, and over the last couple of years it has been part of my mission to bring in younger people to our management team and auction staff," Robertson said in a statement issued Monday evening by Fasig-Tipton. }I am happy in the knowledge that the company is now stronger in both these departments."

Robertson will continue to sell from the auctioneer's stand for real estate auctions through Swinebroad-Denton in Lexington. He is president of that auction firm.