In Three, Two, One – G.D. Hieronymus

 

 

Having the best seat in the house always sounds great.  – It must be on easy street, and you get to put up your feet and nap right after lunch. –  But if you’re in the shoes of G.D. Hieronymus, you’ll see the action right as it is happening. – Matter of fact, it’s his vision and effort the world of racing will get to enjoy in HD quality.

I asked G.D. some questions about his career, and having the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland. – He was as energetic in response as he is daily being everywhere at once over the grounds. – I once said hello to him in his office one morning, and made my walk over to his TV studio. By the time I got there he was scampering up the steps like a high school track star. “No need for a gym, Ed. I get around quite a bit during the day.” – That was putting it lightly as he was back in his office for a meeting shortly after. – That drew me to want to know more. John Englehardt had him on as a guest, and he was incredible. But if you ever watch the Keeneland Broadcast team conduct an interview or capture a handicapper’s selections. – You can bet dollars to donuts you’ll see G.D. overseeing the action with his talented crew.

He is the Director of Broadcast Services for Keeneland. He has been overseeing the day-to-day operations at Keeneland for fifteen years. Even though he looks like a college student, his duties are year-round and not just the two months of racing fans enjoy in high-definition video. – He has a crack staff of eleven in his department that produce all racing and sales commercials, gift shop to Keeneland Select commercials, promotional videos for select mares, weanlings and yearlings. They are contracted to produce and direct events for the Hall of Fame, Trainers Dinner for the KTA, Derby Trainers Dinner, Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Club of America videos as well as commercials for Claiborne, Pin Oak, and Shadwell Farms. – Oh, and don’t forget about the seven Simulcast Awards for Broadcast Excellence he and his crew have been awarded by the industry for delivering the best video product.

He hails from Somerset, Kentucky and met Lexington sportscaster Tom Hammond during his college years. This meeting would eventually lead to nineteen years with Hammond Communications until Keeneland President Nick Nicholson tapped his creative genius to design and deliver the best racing product. – If you have the opportunity, go back and listen to the Winning Ponies podcast, and you’ll hear the vision and creative energy that was instrumental in creating the first HD signal in the nation.

One would think his career would have him looking to the years where he can put up his feet and watch the action. When I asked him where he would like to be in ten years, he wants to be involved in racing for as long as it will have him. – He loves his work and said ” he could spend the rest of his life archiving races, horses, events and all aspects of our industry.” – At the time I was questioning him, Keeneland had just finished the Breeders’ Cup. – This was his 23rd Breeders’ Cup, and he said “he has a pretty good history of not only working at these events, but understanding the magnitude and growth of these two days of championship racing and it’s components.” – Like any good leader, he credits the hard work and efforts of his crew with the success this year. ” I’ve not had a single person that attended tell me that they were not impressed with what our team pulled off here that week.  It just went by so fast and not much time to reflect because we were selling horses less than 2 days later.”

As we wrapped up, I asked him if he had any words of guidance for someone who would enjoy a career following his footsteps. – “Love the horse, respect the hard working people in the industry, and do all you can to promote and educate our next generation of fans.  I’ve been very fortunate to have worked in the  industry going on 37 years.  I’ve rarely if ever said no to anyone in need of assistance with my profession. Work hard and opportunity will come to you.” – Looking back over the interview, I realize this man has a passion that is unmatched. He enjoys his work, respects the industry, and relishes the efforts of his team. If you examine a professional in any field, these are qualities that can be found among the special ones. They have a vision where most have ideas, and they deliver what others only aspire. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !

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