Farm Manager of the Year

2017 “Ted Bates Farm Manager of the Year”
Bill Landes

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club (KTFMC) is honored to announce Bill Landes as the 2017 “Ted Bates Farm Manager of the Year.” A committee of five club representatives selects the recipient based on his or her quality and success of management, service to the community, involvement in the KTFMC, and industry leadership and dedication. “Having known and worked with many of the previous Farm Managers of the Year, I am honored and humbled by this recognition. Ted Bates was one of my earliest acquaintances in this business,” said Landes.

Landes fell in love with horse racing as a seventeen-year-old, and purchased his first racehorse, Hey Maggie, soon after graduating from college in Pennsylvania. He chose the University of Louisville to earn his law degree, because it was in Kentucky, the Horse Capital of the World. After practicing law for a few years, he decided to try a career in the horse business and began working at Hermitage Farm in 1977.

Now General Manager of Hermitage Farm in Goshen, Kentucky, Landes had the opportunity to work for Warner L. Jones, who gave him his first job in the business and the chance to learn from Mr. Jones’ knowledge and experience. Jones, breeder of the 1953 Kentucky Derby winner Dark Star, schooled Landes in the thoroughbred business from the ground up. Landes played a role in the sale of world record-setting $13.1 million yearling, Seattle Dancer, at Keeneland; the management of leading stallion Raja Baba’s breeding career; and oversaw the mating and raising of Champions Rousillon, Woodman, and Northern Trick, as well as Grade 1 winner Paola Queen, among others.

After Jones’ passing in 1994, Landes stayed on to manage the farm for Carl Pollard, the breeder of 2017 Grade 1 Travers and Pennsylvania Derby winner, West Coast. Through the subsequent sale of Hermitage Farm to Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, Landes has continued to use his skills to maintain the reputation and quality of Hermitage Farm.

On his own Greystone Farm, just up the road from Hermitage Farm, Landes breeds and races his own horses, including La Troienne Stakes winner, Roxelana. He is a past president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders and currently chairs the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund Advisory Committee. Landes also serves on the Churchill Downs Horseman’s Racing Committee, is Vice President of the Mahan Foundation, a member and past President of the LaGrange Rotary Club, and is a Director of the LaGrange Hope Health Clinic, which provides healthcare to those who cannot afford it.