Robert N. Clay, the Chief Executive Officer of Clay Holding Company and the founder and co-owner of Three Chimneys Farm, is a member of the Jockey Club, the Keeneland Association Advisory Board, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Board of Directors. He is a former member of the board of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, the Breeders' Cup Board of Members and of Trustees, and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, of which he was also president. He is former president of the National Thoroughbred Association and the Thoroughbred Club of America. He also served as Vice President of the American Horse Council and as Vice-Chairman of the Breeders Cup Board of Directors.
Other organizations or which he serves as a member of the Board of Directors include the Bluegrass Conservancy, Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, and the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees Health Care Committee. He is a former member of the Board of the Blue Grass Community Foundation and Bluegrass Tomorrow.
Clay, a native of Mt. Sterling, KY, is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and attended the University of Kentucky and Harvard Business School. Clay's interest in education includes the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship, of which he is a co-founder and chairman of the board, together with past service as a trustee of the University of Kentucky, as member of the board of Midway College, member of the board of the College of William and Mary Endowment Association, member of the board of the U.K. Business School, and former chairman of The Lexington School. In 1995, he received the John W. Galbreath Award, presented annually by the University of Louisville to recognize exceptional entrepreneurship in the horse industry.mber of each organization's Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Good Samaritan Foundation.
Case was literally raised at Three Chimneys Farm which was founded by his parents, Robert & Blythe Clay. Upon receiving a degree in Economics at DePauw University, Case spent a year abroad at both the Irish National Stud and Arrowfield Stud in Australia. In addition, he spent six years in Chicago, working at Arlington Park, Ernst & Young, and the Hyatt Corporation in the Marketing sector. In 2004, Case returned to the farm full time, and managed the auction and sales department, and eventually managed all aspects of the business.
Upon the merger of the Clay family and Borges Torrealba holdings, Case has focused on identifying new opportunities for the farm and its customers, and helping to grow the farm by growing the network of relationships and ownership opportunities that may exist via joint ventures and partnerships with current and new clients and friends. Hence, the role of Chief Commercial Officer was created to clearly state the focus.
Case is currently Chairman of the Board of the Gluck Equine Research Foundation, serves on the Board of KEEP and the NTRA Horse PAC, and is a member of the Breeders' Cup.
Kentucky native David Sorrell has 25 years of accounting experience at the highest levels in the Thoroughbred industry.
After graduating from St. Ambrose University in Iowa in 1983 with a degree in Accounting and Business, David worked for several banking and construction companies, before returning to Kentucky in late 1989. He has since served important tenures at Gainesway Farm, John R Gaines Thoroughbreds, Stonerside Stable and Darley Stud. David spent 5 1/2 years at Darley, where he transitioned to the position of Finance Manager prior to becoming CFO at Three Chimneys Farm.
Voted Kentucky Farm Manager of the Year in 2011 by her peers, Sandy Hatfield brings a lifetime of horsemanship to her crucial role at Three Chimneys. Since January 2000, she has spearheaded the care and management of our stallions and orchestrated the breeding shed activity. Eight years as stallion manager at Gainsborough Farm, two years at Calumet Farm and seven years at North Ridge Farm helped prepare her for this responsibility.
Sandy acquired her love of horses from her father while working with their ranching and racing Quarter Horses in Oklahoma. She came to Kentucky after attending Oklahoma State University, earning her degree in Animal Science from Murray State University.
Married since 1985 to Greg Magruder, she is a past president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Bluegrass, and Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass.
A 20-year member of our team, Gayle started at Three Chimneys as an Operations Assistant Intern, and has progressed to the demanding and crucial position of Stallion Bookings. Gayle's broad and demanding responsibilities include booking mares to Farm stallions, booking Farm mares to outside stallions, coordinating the arrival and departure of all horses, scheduling insurance exams, issuing live foal reports, and facilitating communications for the managers.
While raising a family, Gayle graduated from Midway College in 1994 with a BA in Business Administration with an Equine Concentration, and an AA in Computer Information Systems. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Gayle has lived in Central Kentucky for more than 30 years with her husband David, manager of Lanark Farm. Parents to four grown children and with two grandsons, Gayle's outside interests include photography and gardening.
Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Alex graduated from the University of Alabama in 2012 with a degree in Biology. She then moved to Lexington shortly after graduating college to pursue a career in the equine industry. Starting as an intern on Darley’s Jonabell Farm during the breeding season, then did a brief stint working the September and November sales before taking a position with Ashford Stud. After working at Ashford for a year and a half, she took a job in sales in Lexington.
Looking to get back into the equine industry, Alex is excited to join the team at Three Chimneys.
In her spare time, Alex enjoys riding her horse and is an active volunteer with Central Kentucky Riding for Hope.
Thirty-year industry veteran Steve Spittler has specialized in broodmares, foals, and reproduction for most of his equine career.
Steve came to Central Kentucky soon after graduating from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. He first managed the broodmare division of famed Elmendorf Farm, then assumed the post of farm manager until that farm was sold upon the death of its owner. Steve gained further experience as farm manager or assistant manager at several notable sales and boarding operations, adding invaluable hands-on experience with stallions, racing stock, and quarantine practices in the process.
Father of a son and daughter, new grandfather Steve lives in Bourbon County with his wife. He enjoys reading and cooking, and is a proud volunteer for Central Kentucky Riding for Hope.
Brent was raised on a small horse farm in upstate New York. He was introduced to the Thoroughbred industry while working as a Groom for Milfer Farm throughout his last four years of high school. To expand his skill set and knowledge base he procured a second part time position working with Paint show horses on Waterview Farm. After high school, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Elmira College. Upon graduating in 2008 he moved to Kentucky and accepted a Stallion night watch position from Sandy Hatfield here at Three Chimneys Farm. During his time on nights he was able to expand his foaling experience as well on our Broodmare division. In 2010 he made the move to days, becoming a stallion groom. Several years later when the opportunity arose, he returned to Broodmares becoming a Foreman before stepping into his current position as Assistant Equine Manager in 2015.
Ever since he first started working with horses at Big Sink Farm at age 16, Wayne Smith knew his career path led directly to Thoroughbreds. Four decades later, Wayne is one of the industry's most renowned horsemen, especially acclaimed for his work with yearlings.
Wayne has been yearling manager at Three Chimneys since 2007, where he has overseen the growth and development of hundreds of young horses. He previously served lengthy stints at both Lanes End Farm and Overbrook Farm, where his positions included assistant farm manager and broodmare manager.
Big Sink is now part of Three Chimneys, and perhaps prophetically, Wayne lives in a house on that part of the property. Wayne is the proud father of one daughter--who also works in the horse industry, booking stallions for Lane's End--and a grandson.
For nearly 25 years, Sherry Sams has overseen the computer needs and billings related to Three Chimneys' staff and clientele.
Sherry began her Thoroughbred career as Information Technology Manager/Billings for Nelson Bunker Hunt's Bluegrass Farm. After six years, she assumed the same job title at Three Chimneys. As IT has changed and expanded rapidly across the world, Sherry has regularly kept pace, adapting our systems to suit the new ways of doing business.
A lifelong resident of Carlisle, KY, Sherry has two grown daughters and a granddaughter. She enjoys spending her spare time with her family and cheering on the UK Wildcats.
Lifelong horseman Doug Cauthen brings a unique blend of hands-on experience and business acumen to the Three Chimneys board. After earning a BS in Equine Marketing and Management and a law degree from the University of Kentucky, Doug briefly practiced law before re-entering the Thoroughbred industry full-time. Doug has worked for Hall of Fame trainers Laz Barrera and P.G. Johnson, British stalwart Clive Britain, and with the top two-year-old consignor Jerry Bailey. In 1997 he formed a consulting and management sales company while concurrently marketing the stallions for Prestonwood Farm. Doug was a key member of the team that transitioned Prestonwood into WinStar Farm, and he was named the President of WinStar in 2001. In the Fall of 2010, after spending ten years helping to develop WinStar into an industry leader, which culminated with Super Saver’s Kentucky Derby and Drosselmeyer’s Belmont victory, he formed Doug Cauthen Thoroughbred Management. In addition to Three Chimneys, Doug is proud to consult for Aaron and Marie Jones, Casner Racing LP, Siena Farm, Peter Blum, Lael Stable, and Dixiana Farm.
One of the foremost authorities on horse nutrition and physiology, Steve Jackson works closely with farms and feed manufacturers worldwide in the formulation of feeds and feeding programs.
A longtime professor of animal science at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Jackson has lectured and consulted in more than 50 countries, specifically on equine growth and development, exercise physiology, and nutrition of the equine athlete.
Dr. Jackson currently consults with farms in the U.S., Japan, England, Ireland, Brazil, India and France, including Darley, Lane's End, Three Chimneys, Pin Oak, Taylor Made, Juddmonte, Denali, Harris Ranches California, North Hills Management Japan, and Stud TNT Brazil.
President and owner of Bluegrass Equine Nutrition and of Jackson Purchase Farm in Versailles, KY, he breeds for both the commercial market and the race track. His interests include fox hunting and horse racing.
Chris Baker is a 30-year industry veteran with international expertise in multiple facets of the Thoroughbred business.
The 1986 University of Maryland graduate initially worked in the broodmare, stallion and racing divisions at Lane's End Farm. He then headed overseas, learning the training craft in racing jurisdictions as varied as England, Australia, and New Zealand. Repatriated to California, Chris was an assistant trainer to Hall of Famers Neil Drysdale and Richard Mandella, working with such Champions as A.P. Indy, Kotashaan, and Phone Chatter, before training on his own.
A return to farm management eventually brought Chris to Ned Evans' Spring Hill Farm in Virginia, where he served as General Manager for 11 years until that operation dispersed in 2011. During his tenure, Spring Hill produced more than 100 stakes winners and was twice honored as TOBA's National Breeders of the Year. Chris then served as General Manager at WinStar Farm before joining Three Chimneys in December, 2013.
Ibrahim Eris, a native of Turkey, resides in Brazil. Dr. Eris is an economist, who earned his Bachelor of Science from Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Turkey), and his Master of Science and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. He was a professor at Rice University (1970-1973) and at São Paulo University (1973-1986). During this period, he was also a senior researcher at FIPE, a research institute at the São Paulo University, participating in numerous research projects and was the author of several works published in technical journals.
Dr. Eris was the President of Central Bank of Brazil during 1990-1991. Later, he was the founder and the principal partner of “Linear,” a fund management company in Brazil which was later acquired by a local bank.
He is currently the Chairman of Libra Holding and owner and President of “Eris Consultores,” a firm dedicated to economic and financial consulting.
Originally from Epsom, England, Grant has been working in the thoroughbred industry for 25 years, and has spent the last 17 working in the United States. He joins Three Chimneys from Adena Springs where he was responsible for stallion season sales. Prior to that Mr. Williamson worked at Vinery, Ltd., in Lexington, where he served as Stallion Director and assisted in a variety of capacities, from yearling selection, to sales recruitment and racing stable partnerships.
Grant began his career in the thoroughbred industry in Epsom, as a groom, and has held various positions up to Farm Manager in England, Ireland and the United States providing him with a wealth of experience with which to assist breeders.
Todd spent his childhood in the coal fields of eastern Kentucky and graduated from Morehead State University. After graduation, he spent time working in manufacturing accounting before moving into public accounting, which resulted in an opportunity to move to Toledo. After a couple of years, he accepted the controller's position at Margaux Farm, and returned to Kentucky. Experience allowed him to move on to be the controller for Vinery Ltd., where he stayed for more than ten years. He has spent over fifteen years as an Equine Controller and feels very blessed to have grown up in the coalfields and now work in the equine industry.
Brian joined the Three Chimneys team in 2015 as our Assistant Facilities Manager. Originally from Cincinnati, he gained his thoroughbred experience while working at several prominent horse farms and as a participant of the Kentucky Equine Management Program (KEMI).
He graduated in 2009 from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science degree and went on to become a Registered Laboratory Animal Technologist, earning this certification while assisting in medical research.
In 2012 Brian and his wife Diana opened Olive Hill Sporthorses, a top quality hunter/jumper sales and training program located in Lexington, Kentucky. His busy schedule includes serving as Treasurer for the Equine and Education Committees for Fayette County Farm Bureau.
In his spare time, Brian competes in 3 – 4 full or half marathons per year. His training partners include his dogs Bailey, Vickie Vale and Oscar.
Born and raised in Paducah Kentucky, Jacob has always been surrounded by horses. However it wasn’t until he graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Economics that he realized his true passion lie in the horse industry. Motivated and career driven, Jacob decided to start on the ground level. In 2008 he joined Taylor Made Farm, working as a groom in the yearling barn. He quickly advanced from groom to barn foreman to divisional yearling manager, eventually working his way up into the office as a Buyer Account Manager for Taylor Made Sales Agency.
During his tenure, Jacob was also allowed to pursue his interest in the racetrack. He worked under Chad Brown during the Gulfstream meet as a barn foreman, overseeing the care of Awesome Feather, Stacelita, Dayatthespa and Zagora.
In January of 2016, Jacob signed on as Director of Bloodstock Services, ensuring the highest quality of public sales representation, portfolio management and private bloodstock purchasing to our existing and future clients. Jacob is not only a very good judge of a horse, but he is also a great people person with very strong communication skills. He is one of the prominent faces of the next generation of horsemen on the horizon, and will be a complementary addition to the Three Chimneys team.