William S. Farish, owner of Lane's End Farm, breeder of classic winners, and former United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, has been named honor guest of the Thoroughbred Club of America's 75th annual Testimonial Dinner.
Thoroughbred Club president Charles Nuckols III announced that Farish was selected by the club's board of directors and will be honored at the traditional Testimonial Dinner at Keeneland Race Course on the evening of Nov. 2.
Farish, born in 1939 in Houston, Texas, is the grandson of Humble Oil and Standard Oil executive William S. Farish Sr. He followed his family tradition of racing and launched a serious commitment to the sport in the 1960s. His first stakes winner was Kaskaskia, winner of the 1967 Youthful and Juvenile Stakes.
In 1972, Farish won the Preakness Stakes with Bee Bee Bee, who had been purchased from William S. Miller, but the majority of his success since then has come from breeding his own yearlings and runners.
Farish established Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky. in the late 1970s and has developed one of the world's leading stallion operations, breeding farms, racing stables, and commercial enterprises. Individually and with partners, he has bred more than 200 stakes winners, including winners of each of the American Triple Crown races.
Farish has a longstanding friendship and business association with the family of Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush and George W. Bush, and he was appointed by the latter to his post as Ambassador in 2001. He already had a strong connection to England, for Queen Elizabeth II had been the Farishes' house guest at Lane's End on her trips to visit Thoroughbred farms in Kentucky.
Farish is the current vice chairman of The Jockey Club and a former chairman of Churchill Downs and the American Horse Council. He has been a champion of equine research through support of the Maxwell H. Gluck Center, as well as the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and its Equine Drug Research Institute committee.
The first Thoroughbred Club of America Testimonial Dinner guest was Col. E. R. Bradley, feted in 1932. The honor quickly became recognized as among the most prestigious in Thoroughbred racing and breeding, and past recipients include William Woodward Sr., three generations of the Hancock family of Claiborne Farm, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, John Hay Whitney, C. V. Whitney, Paul Mellon, MacKenzie Miller, James E. (Ted) Bassett III, Alec Head, Ogden Mills Phipps, W. T. Young, Cot Campbell, and Alice Headley Chandler.