Farish to Succeed Bassett as Keeneland Trustee

William S. Farish will succeed James E. (Ted) Bassett III as a trustee of the Keeneland Association, the corporation announced Wednesday. Bassett, retiring from his position on the executive committee after 15 years, will remain a member of the association's board of directors.

"It's a great honor to be associated with Keeneland," Farish said following a semi-annual director's meeting at the Lexington oval. "I have great admiration for the management team and look forward to working with it as Keeneland builds on its role as a worldwide Thoroughbred industry leader."

Farish, who owns Lane's End farm near Versailles, Ky., is a prominent member of the Thoroughbred industry and has been a member of Keeneland's board of directors since 1985. Formerly United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James, he is the current vice chairman of The Jockey Club and a former chairman of Churchill Downs Inc.

Louis Lee Haggin III and William T. (Buddy) Bishop III serve as Keeneland's two other trustees.

Bassett has been affiliated with the Lexington racetrack and sale company for nearly four decades, serving as president of the association from 1970 until 1986 and chairman of the board from 1986 until 2001. He also served as president of the Breeders' Cup from 1988 until 1996 and was chairman of the World Racing Championship Series from 1996 until 2004.

Previously, Keeneland trustees were appointed for life, but revisions made to the association's bylaws in 2002 require their retirement at 80 years of age. Due to Bassett's age at in 2002 (81), he was permitted to remain in the position until reaching the age of 85, which will occur in two weeks.

"We've been going through the plans for proper succession for a while now," said Bassett. "My time at Keeneland has gone by like a blur. If I had one wish, it would be to do it all over again. But Will Farish is an excellent successor; he's respected nationally and internationally, he's a very prominent owner and breeder, and we think he'll bring a different dimension to Keeneland that will be very helpful to the entire operation."

"For nearly 40 years, Ted's unselfish leadership has guided Keeneland through some very important times and has helped shape it into the place it is today," said Keeneland president and CEO Nick Nicholson. "We are fortunate that he will remain on our board and that we will be able to continue to rely on his wisdom, intellect, and love of Keeneland."

In other business, the association's directors appointed Charles (Nucks) Nuckols III, owner of Nuckols Farm and son of former trustee Charles Nuckols Jr., to the board of directors and elected Duncan Taylor, one of the owners of Taylor Made Farm, to Keeneland's executive committee.