John Sosby, the retired manager of the Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., died Aug. 6 at age 73.
Sosby worked at Claiborne for more than 50 years, 47 of them on a full-time basis, until his retirement in 2003.
Sosby, whose father worked at Claiborne, became the farm’s yearling manager in 1964 and he was named general manager in 1975. In his last position at Claiborne prior to retirement, Sosby was assistant general manager and yearling supervisor.
During his tenure at the hisotric Central Kentucky nursery, Sosby was associated with some of the top horses raised at the farm, including Ruffian, Swale, and Ferdinand.
“It’s been a tremendous ride,” Sosby told The Blood-Horse upon his retirement. “The quality of the horses—the grade I winners, the year-end champions—and the quality of the people I’ve met are second to none. I consider myself a very, very lucky guy to have had the opportunity that I’ve had.”
Sosby was honored as Farm Manager of the Year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club in 1964 and he received the Ambassador of Racing Award from Kentucky Thoroughbred Media in 1991.
A popular figure in Bourbon County, Sosby was active in community affairs and Bourbon County school athletics after his retirement, and served as chairman of the Bourbon County Fair Board. Sosby was chairman of a committee that established the annual Secretariat Festival in Bourbon County.
Sosby, who served in the U.S. Army Reserves for 12 years, is survived by his wife, Janice Hill Sosby and children John “Tony” Sosby, Kim Jones, Kristie Shelley, and Timmy Sosby.
Sosby’s funeral will be held Wednesday, Aug. 10, at the Bourbon County High School under direction of Hinton-Turner Funeral Home in Paris.