Breeders’ Cup presents Fresh Faces: ‘A Youthful Energy’

Gus Koch, director of Shawhan Place Gus Koch, director of Shawhan Place

Gus Koch is the director of Shawhan Place, a full service Thoroughbred farm in Paris, Ky., where he works alongside brothers Matthew and Charles.  Koch is the son of longtime Claiborne Farm manager Gus Koch, who was recognized in 2004 as Farm Manager of the Year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club. The younger Gus Koch graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2009 with a degree in equine science and management.

As someone whose parents, brothers, and sisters are in the Thoroughbred business, did you ever consider making your career in anything else?
I was very lucky to grow up on Claiborne Farm with the best horses, the best horsemen in the world. I was a little bit spoiled that way—I thought everyone grew up that way. Now when I go back to Claiborne for a breeding shed run, I appreciate more the history behind the farm. I never really thought about doing anything else.

I got to see all the highs and the lows of horses. You have to focus on those high points, and how exciting it can be when a horse you helped raise does well at the sales or goes out and wins wire to wire. I love the industry as a whole—it’s so big, but everybody knows everybody.

Why did you choose to make your career on the farm instead of another area of the business?
I fell into the sales prep first—when I was at UK I had the summers free and that’s when we were busiest at the farm with prepping yearlings, so I started doing that and really enjoyed it. I really like seeing the progress a horse can make in the 60, 90 days of prep you put into them before they go to the September sales—they start to grow and learn, and mature into athletes in mind and body.

After I graduated UK, I went to Payson Park and worked for Bill Harrigan for a winter. He had a string of 2-year-olds that he was preparing for the track, and I got a feel for the breaking side of things doing that. I came back up here with Matthew, and we had six horses that first year that we were breaking. I spent 60 days with them before they went to the track. When the first one made it to the races, it was such a relief that he took that next step…definitely a confidence-booster.

During the summer months, I focus on sales prep and after the September sales, I start breaking horses. I do a lot of that early work myself and really enjoy ground driving. I’ve learned a lot through that process—we incorporate natural horsemanship and ground driving in the beginning to get a mouth on them and teach them some of the commands before we put a rider up.

What’s the weirdest quirk you’ve seen in these young horses?
We’ve got one in the barn right now who just doesn’t like me. We’ve got 18 horses and this one colt doesn’t like me at all. He’ll let the guys go out and catch him in the field, but the minute I step out in the paddock, he takes off. I’m not sure why that is.

Most challenging yearling?
We had one filly once who had lost an eye. We didn’t take her to the sales so we ended up breaking her. She was very skittish, partially because of the eye. She provided lots of challenges. She’s gone on and raced at Woodbine and won some allowance races and done quite well.

One story that sticks out: in our first or second year driving horses, we had a colt rear up in the round pen and stuck both his front feet over the round pen gate. They called me over to ask what to do, and I didn’t really know what to do. He stood there for 15 or 20 seconds (it seemed like forever), looked around like, ‘What do I do here?’, like he was surprised to find himself there. He lifted himself up and put his feet down and never had a scratch on him.

They make you scratch your head from time to time.

What change would you most like to make in racing?
Speaking in broad terms, I think I’d like to see the sport’s public image change and would like to educate the public. In central Kentucky, we’re in a bubble—most everybody knows something about racing and has been to Keeneland, where they see the best of the best, but it’s not like that everywhere. It would help if we could get stories out there about the good guys in the business and the little guys in the business who are working to make ends meet, who are working hard and not using the drugs. I’m not sure how to do it, but I think we need a better public image.

What about your corner of the business—what would you like to see changing on the sales side of things?
There’s a lot of politics involved in the sales—it seems like the repository is a hot issue these days. It’s frustrating to have a great horse with a minor flaw on an x-ray or vet report and have an owner unfamiliar with the issue throw the horse out because they didn’t really know what it was. They missed out on a great horse, and we missed out on a potential buyer because of something like that.

Of course you can’t force somebody to like a horse either, but it can be frustrating when a sale becomes caught between two veterinary experts’ conflicting interpretations. We need to find a common ground policy that’s good for buyers and sellers. We want buyers to walk away with a really good horse who’s suitable for what they want—after all, that’s what keeps them coming back to us.

What do you think our generation brings to the table that’s different?
We’ve got a youthful energy to us, and we’re able to bring in technology that’s useful. I can look back to when I was in college, and in high school, and think back to the stories my dad has told me about how things have changed. My dad told me that they used to send a postcard to the owner when a mare foaled, and if that took two or three days, that’s when they found out. Now, we have cameras in the foaling barns, and if we have one that’s foaling, we can call the owner and they can get on the computer from anywhere in the world and watch the mare foal if they want to.

I think horse racing centers around fans, and there’s so much technology we can put in place to generate fans—especially streaming racing on phones. I can watch a race in the barn, and if there’s a horse we had here at the farm, the guys will gather around and cheer for it. It’s nice to keep up with things that way.

Gus Koch

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 29th, 2014 Membership Meeting

KTFMClogovec - Copy

Next Membership Meeting

July 29th, 2014 at the Red Mile Clubhouse

Sales Panel Moderated by Mike Penna

Featuring:

Carrie Brogden, Joe Seitz, Jason Litt

& Mike McMahon

___________________________________________________

Carrie Brogden operates Select Sales and Machmer Hall with husband Craig. Machmer Hall was recently recognized has breeder of the week and is currently leading breeder by number of graded stakes winners.

Joe Seitz runs Brookdale Sales and Foxborough Farm. Joe is a longtime figure in the thoroughbred industry both here and in Europe.

 Jason Litt is a partner in Solis/Litt Bloodstock after serving Three Chimneys Farm for several years as their bloodstock advisor.

Mike McMahon operates McMahon & Hill Bloodstock, LLC. Mike is active in all facets of the industry from racing partnerships to pinhooking.

___________________________________________________

Please submit questions for the panel on the reservation form.

___________________________________________________

• RSVP’s must be in by 5 p.m. July 25th, 2014.
• No RSVP’s will be taken after the deadline.
• Walk-in seating limited.
• Registration begins at 6:15 P.M. at Red Mile.
• Dinner begins at 6:45 P.M.
• Cash, Check and Credit Card payments accepted at the door.
• Please list names of all attendees when making reservations.

___________________________________________________

To register for this meeting select your payment preference:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kentucky Horses Lose a Friend in Vet Byars

On the morning of July 8, the word “irreplaceable” kept bouncing around the head of Old Friends founder Michael Blowen as he thought about the previous night’s death of prominent Central Kentucky veterinarian Doug Byars, D.V.M.

While the word touched on Blowen’s feelings in losing a close friend, the main reason it filled his head on this Tuesday morning was the void Byars’ death would leave for the retired Thoroughbreds that call Old Friends home.

“These horses are really going to miss him,” Blowen said. “He was the best.”

Family and friends said Byars, age 70, died the evening of July 7 at his Georgetown, Ky. home.

In 1983 Byars started at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee Associates, now the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, where he would work for 25 years, serving as head of equine medicine. As an internal medicine specialist, he was on the front line in dealing with Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS) when it struck Central Kentucky in 2001-02.

“He’s one of the pioneers in equine vet medicine,” said Hagyard’s Dave Fishback, D.V.M. “He’s one of the first people to totally focus on the horse as far as internal medicine.”

Byars would help launch Hagyard’s laboratory and help shape the current facility on Iron Works Pike in Lexington.

“He’s one of the most respected equine internal specialists in the world,” Fishback said. “I know Coolmore flew him to Ireland numerous times when they had an ailing horse.”

Byars worked or had worked on numerous horse industry councils and advisory boards, including the Kentucky Horse Council, where he was on the health and welfare committee; and the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance, a group he helped launch.

“The horse is a deaf mute,” Byars said when the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance was launched in 2010. “It can’t speak for itself. So our focus will be solely on issues and mechanisms that protect, promote, and preserve adequate humane measures of basic needs for the horse.”

In recent years he served as a consultant and his passion turned toward after-care efforts. Blowen recalled Byars visiting Old Friends in Georgetown seven years ago and graciously leaving a $1,000 donation. Blowen appreciated the many young vets who already were volunteering at the Georgetown farm taking care of the retired horses and pensioned stallions, but he thought a more experienced vet like Byars would prove valuable.

Blowen made the five-minute trip to Byars’ farm, armed with a six-pack of Samuel Adams beer.

“I had to have a few beers to get my courage up to ask for help with all of these elderly horses,” Blowen said. “We had all of these good young vets and I felt like he would be a great addition. We needed someone with the experience to quickly make very good decisions. I finally got my courage up and asked, ‘Would you be able to help us out if I promise to not call you at 2 a.m.?’

“He said yes but only under the condition that I do call him at 2 a.m. if a horse needed help.”

That evening, and its emptied six-pack, led to Byars working as the head veterinarian at Old Friends.

“For years Doc Byars would tell that story and every detail was the same except I would say we each had three beers while he would say I drank four to his two,” Blowen said with a chuckle.

Byars would prove the perfect vet to work with younger vets as he always enjoyed sharing his passion for equine veterinary work. Frank Marcum D.V.M., worked with Byars in recent years on the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance, a group that helped make Kentucky the first state with a horse welfare council.

“Losing a friend is the first blow,” Marcum said. “But losing a colleague is another blow. We’re losing the best of the best.”

Marcum said one of the things he loves about working in Kentucky is the ability to call on so many experienced veterinarians. He always appreciated the wealth of information made available and he said Byars believed in sharing.

“The first time I met him I was working as a racetrack veterinarian in Kentucky and he would come out and share his expertise,” Marcum said. “As track practitioners, that was a great resource for us.”

In 2007 Byars would become the first private equine veterinarian to receive the Robert W. Kirk Award for professional excellence in the award’s then 18-year history at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) forum. The Kirk Award honors individuals who have provided meritorious contributions to the veterinary profession.

“The 2007 recipient of the Kirk Award is a pioneer, a visionary, and has been an important voice for veterinary medicine, particularly equine medicine and the horse industry, for 33 years,” said Thomas Divers, D.V.M., when he presented Byars the award. “His pioneering success in establishing a valued role for equine internist in private practice opened the door for the many equine internists in private practice today.”

Byars has held offices in professional veterinary organizations at the national level, including ACVIM, American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the American Veterinary Medical Association Executive Boards Advisory Committee. Byars also has dealt with cutting-edge infectious disease outbreak control, and he was invited to serve on the Kentucky Governor’s Task Force on MRLS.

While he reached the heights in his profession, Byars had no interest in ivory towers. He loved to pass on his knowledge of equine health to industry participants as well as the general public. He wrote columns for The Horse magazine and over the last few years became a regular guest on the Lexington radio show Horse Tales with Ercel Ellis.

“He is one of the most respected equine veterinarians in the world, but you would never know it,” Ellis said. “The man had absolutely no ego at all. He was as down to earth as someone could be. I just loved the guy.”

Byars’ wife, Susan, family, and friends will gather for a memorial service at 11 a.m., July 19, at First Presbyterian Church in Georgetown. They’ll celebrate Byars’ life and perhaps resolve the mystery of Blowen’s beer consumption seven years ago. Was it three beers or four?

Either way, Blowen figures he owes his friend a beer. He’s not the only one.
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/86075/kentucky-horses-lose-a-friend-in-vet-byars#ixzz36zKTyTgd

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2014 Golf Scramble Results Are In!

22nd Annual KTFMC Golf Scramble

60 Total Teams Competed including:

ADENA SPRINGS

AIRDRIE STUD

AMERICAN BUILDING COMPONENTS

ASHFORD STUD

BAUER HAY & STRAW

BLACKWOOD STABLES

BROOK LEDGE

BULLET TRAIN

CENTRAL EQUIPMENT

CLAIBORNE

CORNETT

COSTELLO/CAMPION

CREECH I

DARBY DAN

DARLEY

DENALI

DIXIANA

EQUINE MEDICAL ASSOCIATES

EQUINELINE.COM

EQUUS/STANDARDBRED STATION

FASIG-TIPTON

FRANKFORT PARK

GAINESWAY FARM

GLENN TOYOTA

GOLDEN AGE FARM

HAGYARD

HAPPY HOUR RACING

HILLENMEYER

HOO FARMS

IMPACT GRAPHICS

JACK KAIN FORD

JUDDMONTE

KEMI

KTFMC SINGLES

LANE’S END I

LANE’S END II

LEXINGTON EQUINE SURGERY

MARGAUX FARM 1

MARGAUX FARM 2

MARKEL

MCCAULEYS

MERSANT

NEWTOWN STATION

NORTRAX

NTRA

ROOD & RIDDLE I

ROOD & RIDDLE II

SCARTEEN STUD

SIERRA FARM

STANDLEE HAY

STARK EQUINE

TAYLOR MADE I

TAYLOR MADE II

THREE CHIMNEYS

TWIN CREEKS RACING

VINMAR

WINSTAR

WINTER WOOD FARM

WOODFORD THOROUGHBREDS

ZOETIS

Congratulations to our Overall Champion:

BAUER HAY, STRAW, & SHAVINGS

Big Blue Course Winners:

1stStandlee Hay

2ndJack Kain Ford

3rdWinstar Farm

Wildcat Course Winners:

1stBauer Hay Straw & Shavings

2ndStark Equine Transportation

3rdCostello / Campion tied with Impact Graphics

Closest to the Pins Winners-

o   Matt Lyons – Premium Alfalfa from Bauer Hay Straw & Shavings

o   Tommy Ogden – Premium Alfalfa from Bauer Hay Straw & Shavings

o   Chris Brothers – Stihl Trimmer & Blower from Central Equipment

o   Michael Homes  – Stihl Push Mower from Central Equipment

Longest Drive Winners –Gift Bags from Whayne Supply Company

Ryan Worthen & Eric Thomas

Congratulations to all our Winners!!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Potluck Pig Roast!

Pigroast Invite 1

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

22nd Annual Golf Scramble

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club’s 22nd Annual Challenge Cup Golf Scramble will take place Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 at The University Club. Proceeds to benefit KEMI & Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. 12:00 P.M. Shotgun Start!

This is your invitation to participate in this year’s Challenge Cup Golf Scramble.

• Box lunch will be provided in the carts, and a barbecue dinner will follow the golf scramble. Beer, water, and soft drinks will be provided on the course. The winning teams and the players closest to the pin and with the longest drives will be awarded prizes. Dress Code: All guests must wear appropriate golf attire. This would exclude such items as cut-off, tanks, t-shirts, and jeans.

• For 2014, teams will not be required to have an active member of the KTFMC. Teams should have an A,B,C, and D level player. A minimum of two drives per player must be used during the 18 holes of play. Teams are formed without KTFMC input, but individual entries will be placed on a team by KTFMC Golf Scramble committee members.

Please contact Brent Wilson (859) 753-5715, Andy Howard (859) 213-0085, Charles Campbell (859) 621-0514 or Gus Koch (859) 621-4634 with any questions.

Corporate Sponsor Info and Entry Form
Hole Sponsor Info and Entry Form
Four-Player Team Entry Form
Individual Entry Form

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Have you checked out the 2013 Photos?

Don’t forget to check out the club photos from 2013!!

They are on our Event Photos page at http://ktfmc.org/event-photos/

KTFMClogovec73.jpg

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Colostrum Alert!!

COLOSTRUM ALERTColostrum Reserves are Very Low!

Hagyards and
Rood & Riddle combined have 3 pint of colostrum on hand at this time.

Please help by milking your foaling mares and donating a pint today!

Remember:
The bank is only successful due to the donor farms, without them there would be no bank.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Free Classified Ads for our Members!

We now have Classifieds!!

You can post an ad for free today!

Looking for a new job? Looking to buy a piece of farm equipment? You can now browse our classifieds. Have a Thoroughbred job to advertise? Have farm equipment for sale? You can now post a classified ad on our website!

Cost:
This is a free service for KTFMC Active Club members. There is a $9.99/30 days fee for Ads posted by non-members and members within the support/service related industries. (All ads will be verified before posting approval)

Ad Duration:
Ads run for thirty days and then are automatically disabled. You will be able to reactivate ads.

How do I post an ad?
Go to http://ktfmc.org/ktfmc-member-classified-section/ and click on Place an Ad. You will have to log in/register to our website to place your ad. Please email Kim at info@ktfmc.org if you have any difficulties placing an ad.

Terms of Service:
This is a free limited service for KTFMC Club members. Ads will be removed if deemed inappropriate or not related to the Thoroughbred industry.  This classified section is intended only as a way to connect our members and help our farms, we are not advocating or backing any ad placed in this section.  All ads are subject to removal for any reason by KTFMC Officers and Board Members.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Annual Farm Bureau Auction

31st Annual

Fayette County Farm Bureau

Farm Equipment Consignment Auction

Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

 

CLICK HERE to Pre-register NOW for your bidder number!

KENTUCKY HORSE PARK Main Entrance

4089 IRONWORKS PIKE, LEXINGTON, KY
(Exit 120, I-75, at Ironworks Pike)
($5.00 Parking Fee will be charged by the Horse Park the day of the sale.)

All Types of Farm Equipment

And Lawn & Garden Equipment

* Equipment Accepted On *
Thursday, March 20, 2014 and Friday, March 21, 2014

 No Fuel Tanks, Tobacco Sticks, Float Trays, Camper Tops or Junk.
Auctioneer Has the Right to Refuse Any Item 

For More Information Call:
Carrie Johnson – Farm Bureau- (859) 253-0023
Todd Clark- (859) 621-6471
Bob James (859) 229-4642
Terms & Conditions:
$7.5% Commission
$20.00 Minimum per Lot
$500.00 Maximum per Lot
$20.00 Buy-Back Fee
$25.00 Buy-Back for Tractors
$50.00 Buy-Back Fee for Trucks & Boats


No Trucks, Trailers, Boats or ATV’s will be accepted without proper titles.

Check Out Times: Sat., March 22nd, after the sale till 6:00 P.M.
Sun., March 23rd, 9:00 A.M.- 6:00 P.M., Mon., March 24th 8:00 A.M.- 12 Noon
(All items must be removed no later than 12 Noon, Mon., March 24th)

Swinebroad- Denton, Inc.

Auctioneers: Walt Robertson, Ryan R. Mahan & Tom Biederman

DONATED ITEMS!  PLEASE BRING ANY USABLE ITEM TO THE AUCTION, NO JUNK!  ALL ITEMS WILL BE AUCTIONED OFF WITH 100% OF THE PROCEEDS GOING TO THEFAYETTECOUNTYFARM BUREAU EDUCATION FOUNDATION. TAX ID # WILL BE AVAILABLE.

All proceeds of the Consignment Auction will go towards the Scholarship programs administered by the Fayette County Farm Bureau Education Foundation. Donated items will be accepted and appreciated with 100% of the proceeds going to the Fayette County Farm Bureau Education Foundation. Donated equipment accepted will be considered a tax write off. The event is solely managed and operated by volunteers of the Fayette County Farm Bureau.

As a non-profit organization we are seeking to make a difference in students’ lives and in our local community’s future. Each year one Fayette County graduating Senior is selected by the Education Foundation, to recieve a  4 yr/ $20,000 Scholarship towards any University of their choice. In addition a 2yr/ $2,500 Vo-Tech scholarship is awarded to a Fayette residents/ students.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment