Shannon Bishop Arvin, tabbed to replace Bill Thomason when he retires as Keeneland's President and CEO at the end of 2020, issued her first communique Wednesday evening.
“First, I'd like to thank everyone who has been so kind and welcoming as I transition into my new role with Keeneland,” Arvin said. “This is both a privilege and a responsibility that I do not take lightly, and I very much look forward to working alongside our team to support your needs as we move into the fall season and into the future.
“While Keeneland is excited to unveil our full portfolio of remote bidding options, we continue to work closely with state and federal government officials, including representatives of both Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressmen Andy Barr, to seek exceptions to allow international travelers to attend the September Sale. Just as we have done for 80+ years, Keeneland will exhaust every measure possible to bring the world to Keeneland.”
Final plans will be announced shortly regarding COVID-19 testing during the Keeneland September Sale. Proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival at the sale will be required. If a participant does not have proof of a negative test, onsite testing will be available at Keeneland.
“We are working in concert with health and government officials as well as Fasig-Tipton to deliver consistent and reliable protocols and testing,” Arvin said. “Keeneland's continued commitment to safety and our compliance with the Governor's Healthy at Work standards allow us the opportunity to operate our auctions and race meets.”
In closing, Arvin paid tribute to late Keeneland employee Katherine McKee.
“As previous Manager of Keeneland's Horsemen Hospitality and most recent Director of Racing Administration, Katherine has been a part of the Keeneland journey alongside many of you. We will always cherish the legacy of her dedication and love for horsemen and her Keeneland family. Although she battled advanced melanoma for nearly three years, many of you may have been unaware as Katherine's positive attitude, dignity and grace never wavered. She was an amazing person and friend and will be tremendously missed by all of us.”