Catesby W. Clay, Chairman
Catesby W. Clay was born on Runnymede Farm, which he managed for the last five decades representing the Clay family's third generation since the farm's founding by his grandfather Col. Ezekiel Clay. During Mr. Clay's tenure as Runnymede’s president, he enhanced the farm's tradition of breeding top Thoroughbred racehorses. Individually and in partnerships, Runnymede bred more than 50 stakes winners, including 20 graded winners, five Grade 1 winners and a champion and earner of more than $8-million. The farm's breeding success was extended internationally for the first time, beginning in Europe in the 1970s with Full Extent, winner of the Gimcrack Stakes, and eventually to Japan, where Agnes Digital reigned as champion in 2001.
Catesby Clay’s lifetime achievements in the Thoroughbred industry were recognized by the Thoroughbred Club of America, which made him the honor guest at its 78th annual testimonial dinner in 2009. His many industry posts have included appointments to Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and to the board of directors of Churchill Downs, which he served for more than 40 years. He also has been associated with Kentucky River Coal Co. for over 50 years, where he served as president and chairman of the board. His numerous honors in the energy industry have included induction into the Kentucky Coal Hall of Fame. He is a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Diplomacy.
For testimonials to Catesby Clay in conjunction with his Thoroughbred Club of America honor, click here.
A Blood-Horse magazine feature on Catesby Clay and Runnymede is available here.
Brutus J. Clay III, Chief Executive Officer
Brutus J. Clay III joined Runnymede at the age of 13 when his first job was mucking stalls and cutting down thistles. Following his education and service in positions outside the Thoroughbred business, he rejoined Runnymede in 2002 as an executive committee member, and he took over the reins from his father as president in 2009. He now serves as chief executive officer, responsible for the farm’s breeding and racing operations.
Brutus Clay is the lead partner responsible for the development of Texas Roadhouse restaurants in conjunction with Roadhouse Management LLC. Previously he served as vice president of Langley Properties Co., where he evaluated and oversaw acquisitions. Prior to moving back to Kentucky, he served as chief financial officer of Learning Machines Inc. (LMI), based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and he managed the financial operations of three private equity investment funds for The Forestland Group.
Additionally, Brutus Clay is a managing member of Kentucky River Properties, a mineral rights and property holding company. He serves as a member of the board of trustees for the Lexington School and as a member of the board of directors for the Bluegrass Conservancy. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a B.S.B.A. from Georgetown University.
Brutus and his wife, Sarah, live on the farm with their three children and his parents. He spends his free time attending his children's soccer games and his daugther's horse shows. His favorite time of day is dawn, when he is inspired by watching the sun rise while on his morning run around the farm.
Romain Malhouitre, Vice President & General Manager
Romain Malhouitre, born in Normandy, France, on February 10, 1978, serves as vice president and general manager of Runnymede following stints in a variety of positions at farms in France, Ireland and Kentucky. Prior to joining Runnymede in December 2013, Romain held the position of yearling manager at historic Dixiana Farms in Lexington. His work at Dixiana over a six-year period also included sales and client relations. In his previous position in Kentucky, Romain worked as yearling manager at Peter O'Callaghan's Woods Edge Farm.
While in Ireland, Romain held positions with both Milltown Stud in Newbridge, County Kildare, and Morristown Lattin Stud in Naas, County Kildare. At the latter farm, owned by O'Callaghan's father, Gay O'Callaghan, Malhouitre served as stallion manager.
Before he began his professional career with horses in France, where some of his initial experience was with Andalusians, Romain studied commerce, marketing and sales management at a private institute and followed up with more higher education in agriculture with an emphasis in equine breeding.
Martin O’Dowd, Senior Advisor
Martin O'Dowd serves as a senior consultant to Runnymede Farm. In this capacity, he advises management on bloodstock, breeding, sales preparation and the racing stable. Prior to his current assignment, Martin was Vice President and General Manager of the farm, directing Runnymede's breeding and racing operations for 26 years.
A lifelong horseman, he grew up on the Dromoland Castle Estate in County Clare, Ireland. Prior to joining Runnymede, Martin worked for Coolmore/Ireland, one of the Thoroughbred industry's largest global breeding and racing enterprises. Following his relocation to the United States, he joined Airdrie Stud, one of Kentucky's most successful stallion and breeding operations, where his assignments included the position of stallion manager.
During his tenure at Runnymede, Martin was instrumental in revitalizing the farm's broodmare band and developing the farm's global operations, which now extend to Europe and Japan, where Runnymede has been represented by Group 1 winners and has been acknowledged in the most elite auction houses of the sport. He is a member of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club and continues to work with a variety of clients on international bloodstock acquistions and sales. Martin has been featured in several publications for his work at Runnymede, including the 2008 profile in Thoroughbred Daily News following Runnymede-bred Divine Park's win in the Metropolitan Handicap (G1).
David Blee, Vice President
David Blee, a co-founder of the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), the state horse industry’s leading political organization, provides counsel on strategic, bloodstock and racing development in his position as vice president. He has been associated with Runnymede since 2001 as a shareholder and has served as an officer since 2005. His Thoroughbred industry experience also includes breeding and pinhooking syndicates.
David also serves as managing director of the Forrestal Group, a strategic management consulting group. Previously, he served as executive vice president for worldwide consulting, marketing and business development for NAC International, an energy services group, and as senior vice president of Robinson, Lake, Lerer and Montgomery, a Washington, D.C. and New York City-headquartered strategic communications company. He also has served as a United States deputy assistant secretary of Energy, as Energy Department director of public affairs and as a Capitol Hill chief of staff. A member of the Office of the Strategic Services Society, he serves as chairman of KEEP-PAC and is a director of Quark Energy Communications and a member of the executive committee of the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council. David holds a B.A. in economics from Dickinson College.
Mark Leaver, Comptroller
Mark Leaver joined Runnymede in December 2014 after serving in similar capacities with several other prominent Thoroughbred operations, including Vinery and Crestwood Farm. He has lived in the Bluegrass about two decades after he and his wife made a fateful journey to Lexington for the first weekend of the 1996 fall meeting at Keeneland Race Course. Following Kimball House (pre-condo), Alfalfa (pre-Main Street), Keeneland (pre-P.A. system) and perfect weather, they made the decision to move to Lexington in short order. Mark had been working for a steel fabricator in Charlotte, North Carolina, where "racing" lacks a "g" in the local vernacular. Since Mark prefers one-horse power to turbo, he figured finance and accounting would be a lot more interesting in a place where he could look out his office window at horses rather than at rebar.
Mark holds an M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a B.A. in business administration and accounting from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Allison Adams Bates, Office Manager
Allison Adams Bates grew up on a 200-acre farm in Winchester, Kentucky. Her tenure as Runnymede’s office manager began in February 2009 when she assumed responsibilities for administration and record-keeping after Toni Skeen retired from her 35-year career at the farm. In addition to being a favorite with visitors and others who do business with Runnymede due to her engaging personality, she is keenly devoted to the horses and history of the farm. She also enjoys landscaping with flowers at her nearby home in Paris, Kentucky.