Dr. Bryce Peckham will fill the role of chief veterinarian while a national search for a permanent replacement for Nichols takes place. The search for a permanent successor could take up to six months. Peckham has spent the last 12 years as the chief racing veterinarian for the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.
Dr. Mary Scollay, who became the commission's equine medical director a few months ago, initially had taken on Nichols duties in addition to her own.
Nichols’ responsibilities included oversight of racetrack veterinarians and ensuring that race events and participants comply with equine medical regulations.
Nichols submitted his resignation letter Sept, 26 without giving a reason. It came a few days after he disclosed that no TCO2 testing (for bicarbonate loading to increase horses' endurance) was done during the summer meeting at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., because of a shortage of personnel.
Nichols, who owns a practice in Henderson, served as chief racing veterinarian since April 2007.