The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) announced today that The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc. has purchased a majority ownership interest in Blood-Horse magazine. The purchase also includes related digital and custom printing properties of Blood-Horse, the Stallion Register, and Blood-Horse’s 50% interest in TrueNicks LLC.
The announcement was made jointly by Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club, and Peter S. Willmott, chairman of TOBA.
“The Jockey Club stewards believe that a publication with the history, influence and brand recognition of Blood-Horse is a considerable asset for the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry and that there are certain synergies that will make it an even stronger entity as a result of this transaction,” said Phipps.
“TOBA and its predecessor breeders organization have been the sole owner of Blood-Horse since 1935,” said Willmott. “With the considerable changes underway in the publishing industry, it is our strong feeling that a partnership with The Jockey Club in ownership of Blood-Horse will enhance Blood-Horse’s ability to serve its customers, especially on digital platforms.”
Simultaneously with the closing, Blood-Horse announced the appointment of John K. Keitt Jr. as chief executive officer and publisher. Keitt has served as a senior executive, corporate attorney, and consultant with broad experience in the media and technology areas. He was the senior vice president of Global Business for The Associated Press in New York City from 2003-2006, and he has also been a business and legal advisor to a wide range of Thoroughbred industry organizations since 1986.
Keitt will be based at the Blood-Horse offices in Lexington, Kentucky, starting today.
“Blood-Horse will continue to cover the issues, events and personalities in our industry in a journalistically sound manner going forward,” Phipps said. “The Jockey Club and its affiliated companies have many longstanding business and editorial relationships with other media organizations in this industry, and we will strive to maintain and enhance those relationships. We are pleased to welcome aboard John Keitt as Blood-Horse’s new business leader.”
The purchase is effective immediately and financial details related to the transaction will not be disclosed. The transaction does not include ownership of The Horse, which will remain with TOBA and operate separately. Marla Bickel, the CEO and publisher of Blood-Horse Publications, will transition into a role as CEO and publisher of The Horse.
The Jockey Club and TOBA have collaborated on numerous Thoroughbred industry initiatives through the years. The most recent example is OwnerView, an owner development resource that was created in 2012 and is managed jointly by The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc. and TOBA.
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 is a founding member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities and the architect and sole funding source for America’s Best Racing, the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing.
The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Jockey Club, is an industry leader in the areas of technology and information services for industry professionals, including owners, breeders, trainers and farm personnel. Blood-Horse purchases data from The Jockey Club Information Systems and that service will continue under this new arrangement.
TOBA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of leading Thoroughbred breeders and owners. TOBA’s mission is to “improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders.” Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, Claiming Crown, Ownership Seminars, and the Sales Integrity Program. TOBA provides international representation for U.S. owners and breeders on the International Grading and Race Planning Advisory Committee, International Cataloguing Standards Committee, and International Breeders Federation. Thoroughbred Charities of America is the charitable arm of TOBA. TOBA is represented on the board of directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium as founding members.