Next Membership Meeting

October 8th, 2014 at the Red Mile Clubhouse

Trainers Panel


Michael Lauer, Wesley Ward and Philip & Victoria Oliver


• RSVP’s must be in by 5 p.m. October 6th, 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:

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“Ted Bates Farm Manager of the Year Award”

For Immediate Release:

“Ted Bates Farm Manager of the Year Award”

Effective September 2014, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club Farm Manager of the Year Award has been renamed the Ted Bates Farm Manager of the Year Award in honor of life member, 1968 President and 1979 Farm Manager of the Year, Ted Bates. Ted is the permanent committee chairman for the annual selection committee for this award which is made up of the past and current Farm Managers of the Year and the past and current KTFMC Presidents along with Ted.

Ted, born Theodore Bright Bates in 1923 in Carrollton, Kentucky comes from a farming background that includes his grandfather, Newton Bright, who served several terms in the Kentucky Senate and then was elected Commissioner of Agriculture. As a boy, Ted moved from Carrollton to Eminence where his grandfather’s farms were located and where his father, Theodore W. Bates, began his law career in nearby New Castle. Ted later moved with his family to Louisville and graduated from Louisville Male High School. Ted always considered Eminence “home” and moved back there after high school where he spent a lot of time with his grandparents working on their farms as well as others in the area. Ted eventually continued his education at the University of Kentucky where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture.

Ted’s first job in the Thoroughbred industry was at Coldstream Farm under farm manager, Charlie Kenney. Charlie also happened to have a foreman working for him by the name of Melvin Cinnamon who Ted developed a lifelong friendship with. Ted said, “Mr. Kenney taught me the horse business, and Melvin Cinnamon taught me horse husbandry.” Not able to afford marriage on his salary at Coldstream, Ted became the assistant county extension agent for Shelby County and shortly thereafter married his wife, Evelyn Nash.

In 1956 Melvin Cinnamon convinced Ted to become his assistant manager at Maine Chance Farm owned by Elizabeth Arden Graham. Not an easy lady to work for, Melvin Cinnamon, taking Ted with him, moved to Calumet in 1958 for Mrs. Gene Markey after her manager, Mr. Paul Eblehardt, was struck by lightning while playing golf and never completely recovered. In a career there lasting five years, Ted worked with a great roster of stallions headed by the premiere sire, Bull Lea. Ted’s favorite horse while at Calumet was Triple Crown Champion Citation who impressed him with his speed, determination and intelligence.

While managing Foxtail Farm on Keene Road in Nicholasville, Fasig-Tipton approached Ted about bringing that sales company back to Kentucky and hired him as general manager in 1970. After a breeding stock and mixed sale the first few years, the decision was made to have a yearling sale in 1974. Fasig-Tipton had lost its lease at the Thoroughbred Training Center and leased Henry Alexander’s farm on the Old Frankfort Pike where two barns were built for their first yearling sale. Out of that first July Sale of forty-eight yearlings came Derby and Belmont winner, Bold Forbes, and Preakness winner, Elocutionist. The next year Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew came out of the Fasig-Tipton July Sale and Fasig-Tipton was firmly established as an auction house once again in Central Kentucky.

Feeling an orientation towards the farm, Ted left Fasig-Tipton in 1978 and worked as manager of Wimbledon Farm for Hilary Boone for four years and then served a brief stint with BKY farm. After this he served in an advisory capacity for Paul Miller and Kermit Blackburn. When Elmer Whitaker had a dispersal of his stock, Ted moved onto a tract of Bwamazon Farm on the Paris Pike where he started and maintained his own breeding, boarding, breaking and sales operation under the banner of Ted Bates Farm for more than twenty-two years. Probably one of his favorite runners during this time was a filly named Miss Landy who was named for one of Ted’s best clients over the years, Ms. Landy Armstrong, a New Jersey lady who bred and raced the dam of Miss Landy, the stakes winning mare All the Vees. When she died, Ted bought All the Vees from her estate and continued to keep her there and breed her.

Ted has been the recipient of many honors and has held many offices over the years in addition to being a Past President, Farm Manager of the Year and permanent member of the Farm Manager of the Year selection committee for the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club. He has served as a trustee for the University of Kentucky and is a past president of the University of Kentucky Alumni Association. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of Fasig-Tipton and is currently a Director Emeritus of Fasig –Tipton. He has also served as the 1976-77 President of the Thoroughbred Club of America. Ted is the 2013 recipient of the TOBA Hardboot Breeders Award which pays tribute to distinctive but unsung breeders that help make up the backbone of the Thoroughbred industry. He is also the father of Ted Bates, a vice president at Hilliard Lyons in Lexington, and Eve Bates Greathouse, a Scott County resident.

It is with great admiration, respect and gratitude for you and your service that the Club renames the Thoroughbred Farm Manager of the Year award in your honor. By proclamation of the officers and board of directors of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club, it shall henceforth be known as the “Ted Bates Thoroughbred Farm Manager of the Year Award”.

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2014 Dinner Dance Reservations

Join us for the

2014 Annual Dinner Dance


B.G. “Scooter” Hughes
2014 Ted Bates Farm Manager of the Year

Friday, September 26th, 2014

The Red Mile – Round Barn

Cocktail Hour begins at 6 PM
The Dinner Dance begins at 7:30 PM.

Individual Seats – $45.oo / Table (8 seats) – $315.00


Click Here to Reserve your seats today!

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2014 Trail Ride

2014 KTFMC Annual Trail Ride

Sunday, September 28th
Shaker Village
$ 15.00 per rider
Sign in at 11:30 am at Shaker Stables
Ride begins at 12:00 pm

Lunch will be supplied by Shaker Village at the end of the ride.

The ride is approximately two hours and non-riders are invited to join the fun…
(Feel free to stay longer)

Please RSVP. By September 21, 2014

For more information email
Gus Koch & Kristen Goncharoff –

**Current Coggins and Health Certificate are required to ride.**

Click here to download Shaker Village Trail Map.

Directions to Shaker Village:

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is located in the heart of the Bluegrass Region near Harrodsburg, Kentucky, less than 30 miles from Lexington.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
3501 Lexington Road
Harrodsburg, Kentucky 40330

Click herefor Mapquest driving directions.

GPS Coordinates:
37 degrees 48.977N
084 degrees 44.419W


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2015 Directory Advertising



On behalf of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club, we would like to invite you to participate as an advertiser in the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club 2015 Membership Directory, the leading reference book for Kentucky’s Horse Industry. The Directory – and your advertisement inside – will be referred to all year long by owners, agents, and managers.  It gives you continuous exposure for a full calendar year at a single production fee that is less expensive that a one time advertisement in a weekly publication!

In one convenient book, The Directory includes all active 2014 Farm Managers, and a Farm Index for all the counties in the Bluegrass Region, complete with contact names, addresses, telephone, fax, services offered, e-mail and website. In addition, there are Reference Maps, a Stallion Index, a Service and Products Index, an Advertiser’s Index, and a Calendar with race meets and sales entry deadlines & dates. This complete reference book is the most cost-effective way to get your message to the people who buy your products and use your services.  It is a main source of funding for the KTFMC Benevolent Giving Fund and your participation allows the Club to help secure the future of our Industry.

Reserve your space now! Distribution will be mid-February, 2015 with approximately 2,500 copies distributed not only locally, but also to various states and countries involved in the Equine Industry.  A contract is enclosed for your convenience; please sign and return the original today via mail, email at, or fax (502) 867-1723

Space Reservations will close September 3rd, 2014.

Download the 2015 directory advertising contract here!

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Scooter Hughes named the 2014 “Ted Bates” Farm Manager of the Year

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B.G. “Scooter” Hughes has been named 2014 Ted Bates Farm Manager of the Year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club, the organization announced Monday.

“It’s very nice to be recognized by people you work with,” said Hughes. “I was pretty shocked, actually. I had no inkling that I was even in the running for it, so when they told me it was a very good surprise.

“A lot of my friends have been farm managers of the year and I never thought that I’d be one. It’s a great honor.”

Hughes trains a few dozen horses at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington, where his most recent star was Rahystrada. Hughes grew up in the Thoroughbred business, spending his childhood at Greentree and Forest Retreat Farms. He credits his mother, Ruth, with inspiring his interest in young horses through her work riding and conditioning young horses on the farm. Hughes’ father Gail was awarded the Farm Manager of the Year title in 1987. Hughes graduated from the University of Kentucky on a football scholarship.

Hughes worked for John Hettinger at Aikendale Farm, where he was instrumental in establishing the stallion colony. Together with Gail Hughes, he helped manage Far Cry Farm and launched Hughes Management and began training on the side. Today, he is a full-time trainer.

Hughes has worked to develop entries for the annual High Hope Steeplechase, and is a venerable Seargent-at-Arms for the club.

A committee of five farm managers take nominations from the industry and weigh the options based on experience, service to the community, and service to the club.

“Scooter Hughes is an outstanding example of all those criteria,” said Randy Gilbert, vice president of the KTFMC. “Scooter is a great person to be around, and he’s one of those people that if you need help, he’s one of the first ones you call.”

Hughes will be honored at the club’s annual Dinner Dance at the Red Mile on Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. Tickets and additional information will be available on the KTFMC website soon.

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New Sponsorship Opportunity!

Considering a reoccurring request for more sponsorship opportunities, the board of directors has decided to allow a limited number of sponsorship slots at our Dinner Dance for showing support and reaching our members!

The Dinner Dance is frequently attended by many of our highly successful and influential members within the Thoroughbred Industry as they attend to support the newly selected Farm Manager of the Year!

The sponsorships will be awarded on a first come first serve basis, so don’t miss out!

Click here to download the Dinner Dance Sponsor Form

Sponsor Form 14

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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

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July 29th, 2014 Membership Meeting

KTFMClogovec - Copy

Next Membership Meeting

July 29th, 2014 at the Red Mile Clubhouse

Sales Panel Moderated by Mike Penna


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:

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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.

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