Founding Horse Country Board President Price H. Bell, Jr. Hands Over the Reigns

LEXINGTON, KY – With a unanimous vote of the board of Horse Country, Inc., Gathan Borden officially stepped into his role as the new – and second-ever – board president for Visit Horse Country. Borden has served on the board since his election by the members in 2019. The transition also marks the outgoing of long time founding board president Price H. Bell, Jr., who has served for the organization’s first 7 years.

Bell, along with father Headley, Brutus Clay and Dr. Luke Fallon, termed themselves the “mule team,” as they worked in early days to form and shepherd the industry initiative that would become Visit Horse Country. Each has served roles on the board with Dr. Fallon recently rejoining; Bell, Jr. has maintained the leadership position through the foundational days.

“No doubt the organization would not be what it is, or at all, without Price’s generous dedication of time, contribution of boundless energy and sheer will,” said Executive Director Anne Sabatino Hardy. “He’s been a mentor and a tremendous leader. His fingerprints are all over the initiative, which has opened the gates to completely new fans over these last years.”

Borden, the Vice President of Marketing for VisitLEX, Lexington’s convention and visitor’s bureau, is a 14-year veteran of the tourism industry, sought-after speaker on marketing topics and trends and was selected in 2021 as one of the “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Optimization” by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). Borden has served on the board since 2019.

“As we move into the next era of Visit Horse Country, Gathan’s marketing prowess, vision and strategic approach is the perfect fit for this position,” said Bell, Jr. “He’s an expert in the tourism field and as we seek to attract new fans to our sport, he lends invaluable perspective on how to leverage our experiences to the leisure traveler.”

“Visit Horse Country has been a game-changer for the Lexington tourism product,” said Borden. “The outreach from the horse industry into the community has been powerful and has allowed us to truly share the Bluegrass in a way we never could before. I’m excited to be a part of helping Horse Country continue to develop fans of the industry and further cement Lexington as the Horse Capital of the World.”

Along with the change in leadership, Visit Horse Country board members Heather Higgins, VP Corporate Partnerships for Breeders’ Cup and Harold Palmer, President The Jockey Club Technology Services, were unanimously elected to service during the organization’s annual meeting, held virtually in December 2020.