“This industry is blessed with many everyday heroes who are devoted to the betterment of racing and care for our horses. Katherine (McKee) epitomized that passion.”
The TIEA Administration Award category will bear a new name in honor of Keeneland’s late Katherine McKee. McKee, in her roles as Manager of Horsemen Hospitality and Director of Racing Administration at Keeneland for nearly 15 years, lived the track’s mission to better horse racing. Her passion for Keeneland and the Thoroughbred industry along with her commitment to horsemen are her lasting legacy.
“Keeneland is proud to team with Godolphin USA on the TIEA initiative, both as a host of the awards and as sponsor of the Katherine McKee Administration Award,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “This industry is blessed with many everyday heroes who are devoted to the betterment of racing and care for our horses. Katherine epitomized that passion, and we miss her every day. We believe this Administration Award is a wonderful tribute to her life’s work.”
“Keeneland has provided tremendous support to TIEA since its launch in 2016, including hosting three of the five Award Ceremonies,” acknowledged Katie LaMonica, Charitable Director, Godolphin USA. “We were approached by Katherine’s colleagues in 2020, asking if she could be posthumously nominated. While we are unable to accept posthumous nominations, the question allowed TIEA to consider honoring Katherine in another way. We hope this award will dutifully celebrate her legacy and recognize those like her, who in dedicating their livelihood to our sport make it better.”
The Administration Award was added as a TIEA category in 2019. In the first year of the award, Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association’s Bessie Gruwell was awarded the trophy, with runners-up Andrea Greathouse of Paramount Sales and Maria Catignani of Charles Town HBPA. The 2020 Administration Award winner was Dionne Johnson of New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, with Lynnelle Fox Smith of Oregon TOBA and Michele Holbrook of Silver Springs Stud as runners-up.
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