05/11/2011 12:15PM

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation names new CEO


LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has hired a new chief executive officer, Rob Hinkle, who most recently was chief operating officer at the 2010 World Games 2010 Foundation, the company that produced the World Equestrian Games at Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park.

Hinkle will be based in Lexington.

Hinkle takes over at a time when the retirement foundation has come under increased scrutiny, following a New York Times story that alleged that some of the approximately 1,100 horses in the organization’s care had been neglected and even starved. The organization vigorously has denied those allegations and last week issued its own summary of a whole-herd evaluation that the organization’s chairman, Tom Ludt, and president, George Grayson, called “generally quite positive.” That report found that about 10 percent of the horses were below ideal weight, but Ludt said it confirmed that “while there are still administrative gaps that need to be addressed, the horses overall are doing very well.”

The retirement organization’s previous CEO, Larry Taylor, was named in July 2010. The organization later let him go because of financial considerations, Ludt and Grayson said last month. The retirement fund did not disclose Hinkle’s salary, which eventually will be reported publicly as part of the group’s year-end federal tax filings.

In announcing Hinkle’s hiring, Grayson said, “Adding Rob to the organization is another important step in ensuring we meet our long-term administrative and fund-raising goals for caring for these great and aging animals.”