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.