|Thursday, August 31, 2023||Contact: Shannon Luce (859) 224-2716|
|The Jockey Club Elects Seven New Members|
The Jockey Club today announced the election of seven new members: Gary Fenton, Eric Gustavson, Bret Jones, Jane Lyon, Michael Mulvihill, David O’Rourke, and Mandy Pope.
Fenton has been the managing partner of Little Red Feather Racing, a racing syndicate based in California, since 2005, and he is on the board of the Thoroughbred Owners of California and has been chairman since 2021. He began his career as an entertainment attorney for the William Morris Agency and media companies including ATG, Carsey-Werner, and AMC. Fenton grew up in Beverly Hills, California, where he attended races from an early age at Hollywood Park, Del Mar and Santa Anita, including the first Breeders’ Cup in 1984.
Gustavson joined Spendthrift in 2006, where he served as marketing director before becoming president and owner. Over the last 17 years he has overseen Spendthrift’s growth as it acquired, raced, and launched the stallion career of Into Mischief, North America’s reigning four-time Champion General Sire, and the first sire to sire back-to-back Kentucky Derby winners. In recent years, Spendthrift has acquired top stallion prospects, including 2022 Champion Freshman sire Bolt d’Oro, 2023 Juvenile Sire Omaha Beach, Eclipse champions Mitole and Vino Rosso, and home-raced Kentucky Derby winner, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and 2020 Horse of the Year Authentic.
Jones is the President of Airdrie Stud in Midway, Kentucky. A 2004 graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee) and an alumnus of the Irish National Stud Breeding Course, he has been an official member of the Airdrie Stud team since 2006. Jones has served on the Breeders’ Cup board of directors since 2011 and was recently named to the board of directors of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. He also sits on the Keeneland Advisory Board as well as the board of trustees for the University of Kentucky's Markey Cancer Foundation. He formerly served as a commissioner on the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission from 2016 to 2020.
Lyon is the owner of Summer Wind Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky. She and her late husband, Frank Lyon Jr., purchased the farm in 1995, and today Summer Wind encompasses more than 1,000 acres and is home to more than 40 broodmares. The broodmare band has featured the dams of four Horse of the Year honorees, including 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and 2022 champion Flightline, the son of Tapit and the Indian Charlie mare Feathered who was bred and co-owned by Lyon and crowned the Longines World’s Best Racehorse. Lyon also bred 2018 champion juvenile male Game Winner and other Grade 1 winners, including McKinzie, Flagstaff, Moonshine Memories, Mozu Ascot, and Chasing Yesterday.
A longtime supporter of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Institute on Aging in her hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as wildlife causes, Lyon has nurtured animals all her life. Lyon has written two children’s books about rescued racehorses – “Skipingo Home: A Thoroughbred’s Second Chance” and “Primerica: A Home for the Brave” – the profits from which have benefited Thoroughbred rescue organizations. She continues to provide a lifelong home for many retired racehorses as well as pensioned broodmares at Summer Wind.
Mulvihill serves as president, Insights and Analytics, for FOX Corporation, and oversees the research, analytics and strategic planning teams across FOX Sports, FOX Entertainment and Tubi. He played a key role in the launch of The New York Racing Association’s (NYRA) America’s Day at the Races broadcasts on Fox Sports networks and in FOX’s acquisition of TV rights to the Belmont Stakes. Mulvihill joined FOX Sports in 1995 as a research analyst. He was promoted to senior vice president in 2011, executive vice president in 2016, and to his current role earlier this year.
O’Rourke was named CEO and president of NYRA in 2019. He joined NYRA as director of Financial Planning in 2008 before becoming vice president for Corporate Development in 2010. In 2013, he was appointed chief revenue officer and senior vice president. O’Rourke has played a signature role in the development and growth of NYRA Bets, NYRA’s national ADW platform, and he helped shepherd the expansion of NYRA’s flagship television broadcasts, Belmont Park Live and Saratoga Live.
O’Rourke is a member of the NYRA board of directors. He is also a board member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of America, a member of the Saratoga Race Course Local Advisory Board, the Equibase Company management committee, and on the board of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
Pope purchased a 55-acre farm in 1982 and named it Whisper Hill Farm after one of her favorite show horses, “Blue Whisper.” Over the years, Whisper Hill Farm has grown in size and number with an emphasis on quality as a commercial breeding and racing stable. Pope has acquired some of the top broodmare prospects in the industry, such as Havre De Grace and Songbird, and is realizing returns on that investment through their progeny at the racetrack and sales. Whisper Hill Farm has become one of the premier organizations in the industry with successes at breeding, buying, selling, and racing.
Pope is on the board of directors of Variety Wholesalers Inc., which is a family-owned business of discount stores, and on the board of directors of the John Williams Pope Foundation, which is based in North Carolina and provides grants supporting public policy, education, human services, and the arts including organizations such as the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. She is also on the board of trustees for the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. It founded America’s Best Racing (americasbestracing.net), the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing, and in partnership with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, operates OwnerView (ownerview.com), the ownership resource. Additional information is available at jockeyclub.com.