Breeder Lucy Bassett Dies at 87
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Lucy Bassett

Lucy Gay Bassett, the wife of James E. "Ted" Bassett III died at her home at Lanark Farm in Woodford County May 1. She was 87.

Born in Lexington in 1928, she was the daughter of the late A. B. and Elizabeth Simms Gay of Spring Station, Ky.

She led a very active and successful life as the owner and breeder of Lanark Farm, where she bred 12 stakes winners and five graded stakes winners, including grade I winner Adoration, the winner of the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) and 2004 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I), who earned more than $2 million for John and Jerry Amerman and trainer David Hofmans.

Bassett also bred 21 horses who won more than $100,000. Lanark Farm was the leading consignor of stakes winners (13%) for the period of 1996-2000 based on the percentage basis at the Keeneland September yearling sales.

As a major landowner, she had an intense interest in farmland in Central Kentucky and in 1975, established the real estate firm of Rogers-Bassett, becoming one of the leading farm real estate brokers during the ensuing 20 years.

Bassett was also an avid and competitive golfer. She won the Idle Hour Country Club championship three times and was a runner-up in the Lexington city championship. She had a passion for playing different golf courses around the country, particularly Lower Cascades at The Homestead.

She was an inquisitive traveler and an ambassador for Thoroughbred racing, accompanying her husband, the former president of Keeneland and Breeders’ Cup Ltd., to numerous countries and racing events across the world.

Besides her husband of 65 years, she is survived by her beloved brother, Dr. James G. Gay; his wife, Anne, and their four children, Elizabeth Gay (George) Freeman and their children, Reid, Will, and Woods; Dr. Charlotte Gay (John Clay) Stites and their children, Harrison, Elizabeth, and Stewart; James Edward "Ted" (Alyson) Gay and their children, James and Eliza; Anne Gay (Richie) Donworth and their children, Margaret and Lucy.

Bassett  was an honors graduate of The Madeira School, in Madeira, Va., and Smith College, in Northampton, Mass., graduating in 1950. She married Dec. 2, 1950 in Christ Church, Lexington.

A graveside service will take place at the Lexington Cemetery May 4, at 12:30 p.m. Visitation will be at Milwards on North Broadway in Lexington, May 3, from 5-7 p.m.

Memorials are suggested to the American Heart Association, Woodford Humane Society, or Trixie Foundation.

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