As they go about the tasks of showing horses and leading them to the sales ring at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale, the team at Anderson Farms does it with an emotional tug.
Bob Anderson, the president of Anderson Farms, died suddenly Nov. 7 of a heart attack while in Florida. He was 64. A regular at the sales, he was also a prominent Thoroughbred breeder-owner in Canada and also owned Standardbred horses. He was also a director of Woodbine Entertainment Group.
“Everyone is pretty torn up; Bob was big about keeping everything as a family,” said Sarah Seitz, who has handled the Anderson Farm consignment for 12 years. Seitz said she first met Anderson 14 years ago when she was associated with Windfields Farm in Canada.
“The back ring is the worst of it,” said Seitz, fighting back tears. “He would be right there.”
Midway through the second day of the sale, Anderson had sold three horses for gross receipts of $715,000, an indication that the consignment was on the brink of having one of its most successful sales. Topping the group was Storm Tide, a daughter of Storm Cat purchased by R. S. Evans for $500,000.
“This would have been one of his best sales and he would have been out there getting into it,” said Tom Thornbury, associate director of sales at Keeneland. “He has some knockout weanlings. He loved selling good stock. And he was always upbeat about everything.”
Despite the sadness of Anderson’s death, the sales team was prepared to continue to show and sell horses.
“He was always about team. He said ‘I’ve got the best team’,” Seitz said.
Friends plan an informal memorial to Anderson at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 12, in the paddock at Keeneland.