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, President
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, and as president he is the chief executive officer responsible for the farm’s breeding and racing operations.
Brutus Clay also serves as a vice president of Langley Properties Co., where he evaluates and oversees acquisitions. He is the partner responsible for the development of retail properties for Langley Properties Company and Texas Roadhouse restaurants for Roadhouse Management, LLC. Previously, 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 right and property holding company. He serves as treasurer of Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation, as a member of the board of trustees for the Lexington School and as a member of the advisory board for Ashland, the historic home of Henry Clay in Lexington. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a B.S.B.A. from Georgetown University.
Martin O’Dowd, Vice President & General Manager
Martin O’Dowd has directed Runnymede’s breeding and racing operations for 25 years. A lifelong horseman who grew up on the Dromoland Castle Estate in County Clare, Ireland, he oversees the farm staff and all aspects of horsemanship. He also keeps a strong hands-on involvement and personally foals all of Runnymede’s mares.
Prior to joining Runnymede, Martin O’Dowd worked for Coolmore/Ireland, one of the Thoroughbred industry’s largest global breeding and racing enterprises. Following his re-location 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, he has been 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 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 serves on the board of directors for the Center for Women in Racing.
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 Blee 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. He holds a B.A. in economics from Dickinson College.
James E Harvey, C.P.A., Controller/Treasurer
Jim Harvey is a Lexington, Kentucky resident and a member of the Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants. When joining Runnymede Farm in October 2010, Mr. Harvey brought more than 40 years of diversified experience and expertise, resulting in a more professional and reliable accounting and reporting system.
He and his family own Bluegrass Barkery, two specialty stores in Lexington for dogs and cats. They support humane societies and rescue groups in Central Kentucky and sponsor fundraisers for the National Canine Cancer Foundation. Involved in youth activities for many years, Mr. Harvey has volunteered his time as a Boy Scout leader and as a coach for youth baseball.
He grew up in a U.S. Air Force family, traveling the world until his parents settled in Bossier City, Louisiana. He himself later served in the Air Force, rising in rank to Staff Sergeant in near record time of 39 months, and was recognized for Superior Performance Proficiency.
After his military service, he returned to Louisiana State University in Shreveport, where he earned two undergraduate degrees in business and accounting plus 18 hours of graduate study. Mr. Harvey has been a C.P.A. since 1985 and has served as Controller for five different corporate groups in a wide range of industries, including fifteen years in the Kentucky coal industry, several years in public accounting, and a number of years teaching income tax and accounting.
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 all 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.