Arnold Kirkpatrick, a Central Kentucky real estate broker who was a former co-owner of the Thoroughbred Record, died Nov. 29 at Bourbon Community Hospital in Paris, Ky. He was 70.
Kirkpatrick, in the name Kirkpatrick & Company, offered brokerage, appraisal, and management consulting for horse farms and equine operations. His clients included the Association of Racing Commissioners and the American Association of Equine Practitioners.
In addition to owning part of the Lexington-based Thoroughbred Record (now the Thoroughbred Times), Kirkpatrick served as its publisher and editor. Later on, Kirkpatrick earned a 1983 Eclipse Award for his article on long-time Spendthrift Farm groom Clem Brooks. The article appeared in Keeneland Magazine.
A Lexington native, Kirkpatrick proved widely popular in racing circles. “He was game for anything," said Preston Madden, owner of Hamburg Place near Lexington. "He was the master of ceremonies at many of the parties that make the Bluegrass famous for its hospitality.”
Kirkpatrick and Madden go way back. “My parents and his parents were friends,” Madden said. “I had known Arnold since he was five, and we played football and went swimming together. He was a great athlete and a great writer. He was a first-string lineman at Tulane. I don’t know he got to be such a great writer, but he certainly was.
“I named a dog after Arnold and a horse Kirkpatrick. He came to the house one day, and I brought two horses out on the terrace that were both by (farm stallion) T.V. Lark, and told him to pick one. The one he picked, whom I named after him, went through his conditions in California and ran second in a stakes at Del Mar for me.”
Kirkpatrick, whose father, Haden Kirkpatrick, also was publisher and co-owner of the Thoroughbred Record, wrote Investing in Thoroughbreds: Strategies for Success, published by Eclipse Press. Commenting about the benefits of owning a horse in partnership, he said, “It is an abiding philosophy of mine that it is better to own a piece of a good horse than all of a bad one.”
Kirkpatrick was a central figure in racing for years. He was president of the Kentucky Jockey Club, which operated Latonia Race Course (now Turfway Park), and was executive vice president of Spendthrift Farm. He was a director of the racing advisory committee of the American Horse Council and was charter president of the American Horse Publications.
His other duties included serving as president of the Thoroughbred Club of America.
Kirkpatrick is survived by his wife, Julia; a son, Haden; daughters Joyce and Sara; and four granddaughters.