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W&L Alum Heads National Horse Racing Organization

Washington and Lee alumnus Phil Hanrahan, a retired Army brigadier general and a Lexington, Ky., attorney who has specialized in bankruptcy, creditors’ rights and equine law, has been named the chief executive officer of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA).

The NHBPA is a non-profit corporation that works “to improve the economic health and public acceptance of the Thoroughbred horse industry in the United States and Canada.”

Phil received his undergraduate degree in 1976 and spent almost seven years on active duty in the Army as an armor officer. He then returned to W&L and its School of Law, from which he received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1986.

A native of Long Island, N.Y., Phil grew up working on a horse farm there, and, according to a release from the NHBPA, he learned to ride in exchange for mucking stalls. He also spent part of a summer at Belmont Park, walking “hots” at Belmont for Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens.

Once a licensed Thoroughbred trainer, he has owned, bred and “pinhooked” racehorses (bought them as yearlings, sold them as two-year-olds). He is currently a handicapper and plays in handicapping tournaments.

Phil, who will start in the organization’s Lexington, Ky., office next month, retired from the Army in 2009 after rising through the Army Reserve as an armor and cavalry officer. He not only earned the rank of brigadier general but also served in two commanding general positions and received a master’s degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College.