On Oct. 17, Mike Denham welcomed guest speaker Jack Mullikin on behalf of the Rotary club.
Mullikin is from Burtonville which is in Lewis County, he said. Mullikin is the chief financial advisor at WinStar. He attended Tollesboro High school before attending college at UK and majoring in accounting.
He said he began his financial career working for a company called Ernst and Ernst which is now known as Ernst and Young. He knew he wanted to work in accounting but he had always been an avid sport and horse racing fan.
In 1980, after working for Ernst and Ernst for more than 8 years, his workplace picked up a new client, Castleton Farm.
As soon as he entered the gates of the farm for the first time he knew he had found his passion, according to Mullikin.
After several years working with Castleton Farm, he convinced the company treasurer to hire him on as financial adviser and help push their company into the computer age.
He spent 21 years with the company before the owners passed on. Everything from horses to equipment had been sold.
Shortly afterward, Mullikin received a call from from a man he had mentored at his previous accounting firm asking him if he happened to know anyone looking for a finance job in the equine industry. He quickly volunteered himself.
Mullikin then began working for Kenny Troutt from Dallas, Texas.
Troutt grew up without a father figure and had a rough start in life but has built his success from the ground up.
He went to college on a football scholarship but decided to quit football and become his fraternity cook as it made more money, Mullikin said. He then began selling life insurance and became the number one producer for that life insurance company while he was still a college student.
Once Troutt graduated college, he was in the construction business, the oil-drilling business and had a training center in Nebraska but received little success.
While in Nebraska he met a man named Bill Casner who was a horse trainer. The two of them went into business together and years later they bought Prestonwood Farm in Lexington, Ky. Together Troutt and Casner established WinStar Farm.
In his first group of horses was a horse named Funny Cide who was sold for $75 thousand dollars and later became the first gelding in 74 years to win the Kentucky Derby. This horse put WinStar on the map.
In 2010 WinStar bred horse, Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby.
In the year 2018, WinStar Farms horse Justify became the 13th Triple Crown winner.
WinStar Farms has had many successes since its genesis and these are just a few of their crowning achievements.
Jack Mullikin believes that one of the reasons that WinStar Farms has been so successful is because of their values.
“The WinStar family strives to glorify God by raising superior horses, using the most caring and innovative practices, while loving our neighbors as ourselves, whether employees, clients, or vendors.” This is WinStar Farms mission statement per their website.
Here are a few statistics about WinStar farms:
— Recently picked up their 50th grade one race with Timberlake which makes him automatically qualified for the Breeders Cup.
— WinStar Farms has had 27 horses win 50 grade one races.
— WinStar Farms has had 22 horses compete in the Kentucky Derby; two winners, one who came in second place and three third place winners, which equals a 27 percent strike rating.
Mullikin also mentioned HISA which is the Horse racing Integrity and Safety Authority. HISA has a bill in the beginning stages that will protect horses a bit better. Not all states have the same rules and regulations for horses and horse racers. HISA aims to unify all horse racing to keep horses safer and have better communication between breeders, veterinarians and such.
This will make horses much less likely to have catastrophic breakdowns.
Mullikin says as far as purses are concerned, they are racing for a lot more money these days. Casinos and gaming have generated a lot more revenue. Sales have been strong in recent years.