Four New Directors Named to Keeneland Board

Keeneland has announced four new additions to its Advisory Board of Directors: Gatewood Bell of Cromwell Bloodstock, Coolmore’s Aisling Duignan, Juddmonte Farms’ Garrett O’Rourke and Sarah S. Reeves of Stoll Keenon Ogden.

Nick Nicholson, Keeneland President and CEO from 2000-2012, and J. David Smith Jr. of Stoll Keenon Ogden are retiring from the Keeneland Board.

All four new Directors began their service at the recent Advisory Board meeting. Reeves replaces Keeneland President-Elect Shannon Arvin as Secretary of the Board.

“Gatewood, Aisling, Garrett and Sarah each provide the board with unique skill sets and business acumen that will help guide Keeneland as it navigates the future,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We thank them for their service to Keeneland.”

Gatewood Bell

Gatewood Bell, president of Cromwell Bloodstock, is the third generation of his family to serve Keeneland, following his father, Jimmy Bell, and grandfather, John A. Bell. Bell is a member of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and a U.S. representative for Goffs sales agency. He previously worked for Kiaran McLaughlin and Nicoma Bloodstock and served as a jockey’s agent for Fernando Jara.

 Aisling Duignan

Aisling Duignan is Director of Bloodstock for Coolmore America. Ashford Stud, owned by John Magnier, is Coolmore’s headquarters in the U.S. The farm stands Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify.

 Garrett O’Rourke

Garrett O’Rourke serves as General Manager of Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms, where he has helped guide the American operation since 1992. Juddmonte, which has farms in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the U.S., is one of the leading breeders in the world, having bred 26 European and two U.S. classic winners, such as multiple champion and sire Frankel (GB) and Belmont (G1) winner Empire Maker. O’Rourke was named Farm Manager of the Year in 2001 by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club. He serves as a Director Emeritus of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders and is on the Board of Trustees for the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

 Sarah S. Reeves

Reeves is a member in Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Lexington office and has been with the firm since 2010. She is part of the Business Services practice group and works primarily with clients in the Equine, Health Care and Alcohol & Hospitality industries. Reeves was recognized as a Rising Star by Kentucky Super Lawyers® and is a member of the Women Lawyers’ Association of the Fayette County Bar Association. She serves on the board of Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

The Keeneland Board comprises leaders in the Thoroughbred industry and Central Kentucky community.

For more than 80 years, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. The world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland conducts four sales a year, in January, April, September and November, and presents online auctions through the Keeneland Digital Sales Ring. Graduates of Keeneland sales dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. In 2020, The Summer Meet at Keeneland presented five days of racing from July 8-12. Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2015 and will hold the event again on Nov. 6-7, 2020, and in 2022. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a privately held company with a not-for-profit mission that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses and millions of dollars donated in support of horse industry initiatives and charitable contributions for education, research, and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. Keeneland also maintains the Keeneland Library, a world-renowned public research institution with the mission of preserving information about the Thoroughbred industry. To learn more, visit

For more information contact: Amy Gregory at 859 361-3490 or Amy Owens at 859 421-2566



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