Jimmy Bell set to retire from Godolphin USA, Michael Banahan accepts expanded role
Godolphin announced today that President and Racing Manager Jimmy Bell will retire from his day-to-day involvement at its USA division by the end of the year.
Dan Pride, Chief Operating Office of Godolphin, USA, said, “Jimmy Bell is the bedrock that Godolphin USA is built upon. His history with Jonabell is well known and he has faithfully served 20 years molding us into what we are today. He is a friend to many of us and always an example of how to live your life and focus on what is important.”
When the Bell family’s Jonabell Farm was acquired by HH Sheikh Mohammed in 2001, Bell was retained in his current role which guaranteed a smooth transition after the purchase. Bell commented, “My 20 years with Godolphin have been nothing short of a dream come true. More special have been the friendships and fellowships I’ve developed with so many folks here at Team Godolphin. It’s been my privilege and pleasure to work alongside so many wonderful colleagues.”
Bell also indicated that while he’s stepping back from his responsibilities at Godolphin’s Jonabell location, he’ll still be very active with the organization as its representative on several industry boards. He currently serves as President of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and is a member of the board of the Breeders’ Cup and the Fayette Alliance, as well as the Keeneland Advisory Board.
Michael Banahan, currently the Director of Farm Operations and the longest serving Darley/Godolphin USA employee, will transition to the role of Director of Bloodstock by the end of the year. This new role will encompass Bell’s racing responsibilities as well as overseeing all aspects of managing the Godolphin USA horse population. Pride said, “Michael is an integral part of the success of the entire operation here in the US. His knowledge base covers everything from farm infrastructure needs, our stallion program, to planning the matings of such horses as Essential Quality and Maxfield. I know he’s excited to assume this new and important responsibility.”
Banahan, who was named Kentucky Farm Manager of the Year in 2019, began his tenure with Darley in 1993. Banahan said, “For 20 years I’ve had the honor to work alongside Jimmy, and while there’s going to be quite a void with his departure, I am very glad for him as he enters a new phase of life. Godolphin USA has a strong team and I’m excited about taking on this new challenge.”
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