Bluegrass Sports Commission to Honor Bassett

Former Keeneland president will be honored with a Bluegrass Sports Award Jan. 31.

Former Keeneland Association president Ted Bassett will be honored with a Bluegrass Sports Award at ceremonies scheduled Jan. 31, 2013, at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa in Lexington.

Bassett will receive the Jim Host Sports Business Award from the Bluegrass Sports Commission and Alltech. In announcing the award, the BSC and Alltech noted Bassett began working for Keeneland Association in 1968, initially as an assistant to Louis Lee Haggin II. In 1969, Bassett became president and served in that capacity until 1986 when he moved to chairman of the board.

In 2003, Bassett became a Keeneland trustee and now holds the title of trustee emeritus. His Keenalnd tenure currently spans 42 years and coincides with the association’s greatest period of growth. From 1988-1996, Bassett also served as president of Breeders’ Cup Ltd. He was chairman of the World Series Racing Championship from 1994-2004. He remains a Keeneland and Breeders’ Cup director and a member of The Jockey Club.

He is a past president of Thoroughbred Racing Associations and formerly served as a trustee of the National Museum of Racing, UK Equine Research Foundation, and Transylvania University. A decorated veteran of World War II, Bassett was awarded the Purple Heart and the Presidential Unit Citation. He was the director of the Kentucky State Police for four years and was one of the founders of the College of Justice and Safety at Eastern Kentucky University.

The evening will feature prestigious awards given out as a celebration of Kentucky’s rich sports tradition, highlighting the achievements of those who have made an impact on the lives of Kentuckians. Other honorees include broadcaster Dick Enberg, sports writer Larry Vaught, and the late high school sports administrator Louis Stout.

“These award recipients are some of Kentucky’s greatest ambassadors, individuals who have and continue to promote this state around the country and the world,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech.

The evening will conclude with the live announcement of Lexington Herald-Leader Kentucky Sportsman of the Year. The award was presented to Kenneth Faried in 2012 and has been given annually since 1981 when Roy Kidd received the prestigious honor. The voting is done by print, radio and television sports media from around the state and is coordinated by the Herald-Leader.

“We are thrilled to honor this year’s very deserving award winners” said Terry Johnson, executive director of the BSC. “This event gives us an opportunity to recognize individuals that have contributed so much to Kentucky through sports and serves as an opportunity for us to showcase what sport does for our state and our region.”