Race Track Chaplaincy of America officials are hoping the former Bradshaw horse farm near Georgetown, Ky., will become the national headquarters for the nonprofit organization.
On July 23, retired Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, the chaplaincy’s spokesman, and Dan Fick, corporate secretary, presented a $10,000 check to Georgetown Mayor Karen Tingle-Sames as intent to buy up to 30 acres of the farm located near Georgetown College.
“Hollywood (Park) is going to be torn down at some juncture,” said Fick of the current California-based headquarters of the chaplaincy. “(Georgetown) is really much closer to all the different programs around the country, the cost of doing business in central Kentucky is a lot less than it is in California, and a lot of the organizations we deal with are right here in Kentucky.”
Fick, also executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club, stated in a letter that the chaplaincy intends to offer Georgetown $600,000 for 20 acres and later plans to buy another 10 acres.
“Georgetown College is the main focus,” said Fick, noting the chaplaincy will work with the college’s Equine Scholars Program. “They reached out to us to establish a partnership. They’d help us with our administrative efforts, and we’d be able to utilize their students. We could jointly work on expanding the ministry, both nationally and internationally, which is a focus of theirs.”
"The RTCA has our full support in their efforts to purchase the farm," added Jen Roytz, executive director of the Equine Scholars Program. "This partnership will be mutually beneficial, allowing our equine program the potential to expand by offering boarding and more diverse equine opportunities for our students, as well as providing the RTCA interns from a variety of organizations and majors across our campus."
Although the chaplaincy has considered moving its headquarters for more than a year, its talks with the Equine Scholars Program didn’t begin until March. Discussions about purchasing the nearby farm ensued.
Fick said it isn’t certain the chaplaincy will get the property, as others have made offers on the farm. He hopes a decision will be made at the next Georgetown City Council meeting the end of August.
“We’re coming to Georgetown whether or not we’re able to purchase the Bradshaw farm,” said Fick, noting that the chaplaincy had also considered using office space at Georgetown College or buying a house in the area.
According to a report by the Lexington Herald Leader, the city of Georgetown bought the 77-acre farm in 2003 from the Shriners Hospitals, to which it was bequeathed by Marjorie Bradshaw, who died in 2002. Bradshaw was the widow of well-known saddlehorse trainer Frank Bradshaw.
“It’s always been the dream of the Race Track Chaplaincy to have a horse farm where we’d have a whole lot more room to do training for chaplains and have classrooms and facilities. Georgetown has all those facilities,” said Fick. He called the plan “a perfect marriage between Georgetown College and the RTCA.”
Fick said the chaplaincy hopes the farm will become a place for retired trainers, jockeys, and grooms to educate inner-city youth or others seeking to enter the horse industry, as well as chaplains who are new to the business.
“We also conduct an annual chaplain school, so we’d move that here, and we’d probably have our annual meetings here every other year,” said Fick.
In addition, Georgetown College plans to create a Pat Day Library to house memorabilia from the Louisville-based jockey’s career.