Gus Koch, manager of Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., has been named Farm Manager of the Year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club. He first went to work at Claiborne in 1978 as assistant farm manager.
Koch will be honored Dec. 3 at the organization's annual dinner in Lexington.
"The Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club has made a great choice," Claiborne president Seth Hancock said in a release. "Gus came to Claiborne in 1978, and under his direction such leading sires as Danzig, Mr. Prospector, and Private Account were developed. Also foaled at Claiborne during that time were outstanding runners Personal Ensign, Easy Goer, Seeking the Gold, and Pulpit."
Koch, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1946, was raised on a farm purchased by his father, Charles Koch, who served as editor of the Farm Quarterly and was a freelance journalist. Koch attended Miami University of Ohio and later joined the Marines. He served in Vietnam, then returned to the United States to work under Charles Kenney at Stoner Creek Stud.
Koch then moved to Windfields Farm in Canada. He was transferred to the Maryland division of Windfields, home of Northern Dancer, then moved to Claiborne. Eighteen Eclipse Award winners have been foaled at Claiborne since 1979.
Koch, a past president of the farm managers' club, has served as chairman of the board of Bourbon County Hospital, and as a director of the Bourbon County School Board and Bourbon County Farm Bureau. He also has served as president of the Church of the Annunciation Parish Council.
Koch's oldest son, Charles, is current president of the farm managers' club and assistant manager of Claiborne.