News Releases

Monday, October 04, 2021Contact: Jamie Haydon (859) 224-2750
Grayson to Establish “A. Gary Lavin Chair” Position; Oaklawn to Kick off Fundraising with $250,000

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation announced today the creation of an endowment to support a full-time position, the “A. Gary Lavin Chair,” in recognition of Dr. Gary Lavin’s contributions to the foundation and equine health. Lavin died at age 83 in February.

“Dr. Lavin made innumerable contributions to Grayson over the last 40 years, including time spent as a valued member of both our board of directors and research advisory committee (RAC),” said Dell Hancock, chair of Grayson. “He was instrumental in the reorganization of our research approval process, which resulted in the development of the research advisory committee we use today. Dr. Lavin believed that the veterinary community should be involved in Grayson’s work, and we are proud to honor him with this position, which will facilitate a veterinary relationship with the foundation that he believed was so important.”

Oaklawn Park will be supporting this new role with a lead gift of $250,000.

“We are grateful to Oaklawn and the Cella family for their demonstrated commitment to equine health in helping to fund this position,” Hancock said.

“For three generations, the Cella-Lavin families have been working together in the best interest of the Thoroughbred,” said Louis Cella, president of Oaklawn. “We all have such great memories of Doc. It is a great honor to kick off this campaign to create the A. Gary Lavin Chair.”

Responsibilities of the A. Gary Lavin Chair will include RAC member recruitment, orientation, and management; management of grant applications, reviews, deadlines, and conflict eliminations; fundraising; and publicity.

“My father was a lifelong advocate of equine health and longtime supporter of Grayson, and my family is proud to see his legacy continue through this new position,” said Kevin Lavin, vice chairman of Grayson. “We are appreciative of the support that it has already received and thankful to the Cella family for their initiative in the fundraising effort.”

Those who are interested in supporting the endowment can designate donations to Grayson as being specifically for the A. Gary Lavin Chair position. You can click here to donate online.

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is traditionally the nation's leading source of private funding for equine medical research that benefits all breeds of horses. Since 1983, the foundation has provided more than $30.6 million to fund 397 projects at 45 universities in North America and overseas. Additional information about the foundation is available at