Gus Koch, the manager of the Hancock family's historic Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., will retire at the end of the Keeneland September yearling sale. He was named the Farm Manager of the Year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club in 2004, and he is a past president of the organization.
Two grade I-winning mares who were members of broodmare bands at WinStar and Claiborne Farms in Kentucky died this summer.
With 14 Kentucky Derby winners and many successful stallions having stood at the nearly century-old farm, Claiborne is among the most influential Thoroughbred breeding operations in American history.
The Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club has honored longtime Claiborne farm manager Gus Koch with a life membership for his years of service to the club and the Thoroughbred industry. Koch was president of the KTFMC in 1987 and was elected farm manager of the year in 2004.
Pine Island, who was euthanized after breaking down in the Nov. 4 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, was buried at the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., Monday afternoon.
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.
Claiborne Farm stallion Conquistador Cielo, who underwent colic surgery Dec. 5 at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee Veterinary Clinic near Lexington, arrived back home on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Unbridled returned to the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., at noon today, having been given the go-ahead by veterinarians at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee veterinary clinic. He has made steady progress from two surgeries, the first to remove a mass which proved to be benign, the second to repair a hole at the resection point.
Claiborne Farm stallion Unbridled has made steady progress this week from two surgeries, the first to remove a mass which proved to be benign, the second to repair a hole near the bowel resection point. Claiborne manager Gus Koch said Thursday morning Unbridled "has overcome a lot of problems, is bright, and much stronger."
Claiborne Farm manager Gus Koch said Unbridled, who underwent two surgeries within a week, had a "rocky" weekend but is a good patient who is battling hard to recover from his operations and subsequent complications.
Unbridled, the 15th leading sire of 2001 by progeny earnings, had surgery Friday morning to remove a "tumor like mass" from his abdomen. A pathology report is due from the University of Kentucky Diagnostic Lab on Sept. 24.
Two "syndromes" of unknown origin that began in late April are causing Central Kentucky farms to lose an excessive number of foals and fetuses. The first syndrome results in what broodmare owners know as "red bag," or premature placenta separation. The placenta comes out before the foal, often causing the foal to suffocate if the birth is unattended. The second syndrome was discovered a short time later, when veterinarians began to perform 60-day ultrasound fetal checks and found many mares either were not pregnant or in the process of ending their pregnancies. Some farms have experienced losses from 25-75% of next year's foal crop. There is no evidence the problems are slowing down.
Officials with several major Central Kentucky farms shared their experiences about the unsolved excessive foal loss that has been discovered in recent weeks. Area farms are working with the University of Kentucky's Maxwell Gluck Equine Research Center to better understand the problem.
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