Nicholson to receive Eclipse Award of Merit
Prior to Keeneland, Nicholson was executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club, beginning in 1989. In the next decade, The Jockey Club created the online Interactive Registration System and Equibase, which provided the Thoroughbred racetracks of North America with a uniform, industry-owned database of racing information and statistics. It was during this period that Nicholson took a leave of absence to help form the NTRA and became the organization's first chief operating officer. Prior to 1989, he was executive vice president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders.
"Nick Nicholson played a very significant role in expanding The Jockey Club's service to the industry, and he was deeply involved in the creation and launch of both Equibase and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. He added to that legacy in numerous ways during his years at Keeneland. We are extremely honored to have him as a member of The Jockey Club, and this is certainly a richly deserved award," said Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club.
Nicholson has also served on numerous boards and racing organizations, including periods as chairman of both Equibase and the American Horse Council. Nicholson has also been a director of the Kentucky Horse Park, director of the University of Kentucky Equine Research Center, past president of the Thoroughbred Club of America and vice chairman of the International Catalog Standards Committee. He received The Jockey Club Gold Medal in 2004.
"There are very few people in our industry who have achieved such success and commanded the respect of his peers as Nick Nicholson has," said Alex Waldrop, president and chief executive officer of the NTRA. "His contributions have touched all aspects of our sport; from racing, breeding and sales to improving the fan experience."
Prior to his career in racing, Nicholson was a staff member of the Democratic National Committee from 1975 to 1977, and he served as executive assistant to Kentucky Senator Wendell Ford from 1977 to 1981.
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