Highlander Training Center (HTC), a state-of-the-art Thoroughbred facility located near Sulphur Springs, TX (east of Dallas) has named longtime horse industry executive Jeff Hooper as its new Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. Hooper will begin his new duties on July 8, 2019.
Hooper’s experience in the horse industry includes nine years as Executive Director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association, three years as Vice President of Administration at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie and 11 years as Executive Director of the National Cutting Horse Association. Hooper comes to HTC after serving as President of Capital H Strategies consulting services for the past seven years.
“We are extremely excited to bring Jeff on board to lead the HTC team,” said Larry Hirsch, owner of Highlander Training Center. “Our goal since we started construction was to build and operate the premier Thoroughbred training center in the Southwest, and we feel strongly that under Jeff’s leadership we will accomplish that, and more.”
Chairman of the private investment firm Highlander Partners, L.P., Hirsch has been involved in Thoroughbred racing and breeding for the past 15 years, having raced (solely or in partnership) winners of over 300 races with purse earnings in excess of $10 million.
“This is a unique opportunity to be a part of something truly special in the Thoroughbred business,” Hooper said. “Larry Hirsch, ‘Scooter’ Dodwell (President & Head Trainer) and the entire Highlander team are true horsemen and professionals. I am very impressed with their commitment to excellence and the care and training of all the horses that are in the HTC program. I see a very bright future for Highlander, and an opportunity for us to make a positive impact in the industry on a regional, and national basis.”
Highlander Training Center (HTC) offers year-around breaking & training of Thoroughbreds on 189 acres outside of Sulphur Springs, TX, approximately 75 miles east of Dallas. The Training Center is strategically located in easy driving proximity to nine different racetracks in the Southwest. The combination of experienced and dedicated staff, excellent year-around climate, sandy soil and state of the art facilities make HTC one of the premier training centers in the Southwest.
Scooter Dodwell, President & head trainer, oversees the training barns with Jose “Cuco” Mendez and Jon Newbold as assistant trainers. Between these three trainers, they offer 80 years of industry experience. Dodwell is well-known for providing the early breaking and conditioning for eventual 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra.
At Highlander Training Center, two training barns offer a total of 61 stalls. Facilities include a vet room, vet courtyard for further examination, four wash bays, feed rooms, tack rooms, fly control system, overhead ventilation system, attached covered round pen and indoor European-style panel walker, high tech security, Wi-Fi, video monitors and offices.
The training track features one of the best surfaces found at any facility and is watered and groomed daily.
HTC also offers paddocks, each featuring a wood-lined loafing shed, oversized feeders and automatic waterers. Additionally, HTC features eight pastures, each with oversized wood-lined loafing sheds, hay feeders and mature trees for extra shade.
(from Highlander Training Center news release)