SARATOGA SPRINGS — A familiar face to the racing world has been named the new president of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
John Hendrickson, the husband of philanthropist Marylou Whitney, will succeed Gretchen Jackson, who had served as the museum president since 2014. Hendrickson had been one of three vice presidents on the museum’s board of trustees.
“I’m honored to be named president of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and carry on in the great tradition of Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, who was one of the museum’s founders and its first president,” Hendrickson said in a statement. “The museum is an important institution with a great history and a bright future.”
The late C.V. Whitney was Marylou Whitney’s previous husband. The museum was established in 1950 and moved to its current location on Union Avenue in 1955.
Hendrickson is involved in thoroughbred racing as the manager of Marylou Whitney Stables LLC. He is also the president and chief operating officer of Whitney Industries.
A former member of the New York Racing Association’s board of directors, Hendrickson has also been a special adviser on matters pertaining to Saratoga racing. Along with his wife, Hendrickson has been instrumental in developing and supporting programs that benefit backstretch workers at Saratoga Race Course.
“John will bring a lot of energy and ideas into the presidency and I’m looking forward to working with him as the museum continues to evolve and develop new and exciting exhibits and initiatives that educate both new and longtime fans of thoroughbred racing,” museum director Cathy Marino said.
Jackson, who campaigned Lael Stable’s 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro with her husband Roy, will continue to serve as a member of the museum’s board of trustees.
“Gretchen did a wonderful job during her time as president and we are grateful for her commitment and all she did for the museum in that role,” Marino said. “John Hendrickson brings a great passion for the sport of thoroughbred racing and he loves the museum and understands its key role in the sport.”