Conor grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. Drawn to the thoroughbred business since a young age, his experience in the industry began during his teenage years when he gained hands on experience working with horses while also analyzing data at Equibase. After graduating from the University of Kentucky, Conor accepted a position as the Stakes Coordinator for the Breeders’ Cup. This job allowed him to experience the entire scope of the North American thoroughbred industry. By managing the Stakes program for the Breeders’ Cup for several years, Conor had an intimate view of the best horses and horseman in America. “For me, working at the Breeders’ Cup was like putting on the Olympics; it created the foundation for my progression to becoming the professional that I am today”.
After four years at the Breeders’ Cup, Conor was awarded a place in the Darley Flying Start program. This is a full time, two-year international management training program for potential thoroughbred industry leaders. It sets itself apart from any other program in the world with its dual focus on personal development and leadership as well as its specialization in the international thoroughbred business. Management training is provided by established universities including University College Dublin and the University of Sydney. During the program, trainees live and learn in Ireland, the UK, the US, Dubai and Australia. Each trainee receives a full scholarship from HH Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai. Graduates of the program are employed in the UK, the US, Dubai, France, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada, India, Japan, Ireland, New Zealand, Brazil, China and South Africa. Alumni from the Darley Flying Start form a global network of professional relationships in both established and emerging racing nations. After completing the Darley Flying Start program, Conor accepted a job with Darley’s American operation. During five years with Darley America, Conor was responsible for analyzing and predicting the success of individual racehorses and sires as well as the overall commercial thoroughbred market. “My time with Darley and the Darley Flying Start program provided me an invaluable fortune of both opportunity and experience. Working for a company with an unparalleled global investment in the thoroughbred industry required me to examine individual horses, as well as groups of horses, from beyond a traditional approach. My time with Darley also allowed me to operate and experience success in every aspect of the thoroughbred business, from the breeding shed to the winner’s circle and everything in between.” In addition to his degrees from college and the Flying Start program, Conor has also earned a Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.)