John Stuart, who served as president of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation from 1998 until this summer, was honored Nov 15 with the TRF Champions Award.
It marked just the fifth time the award has been presented in the 21-year history of the organization. The previous winners are Penny Chenery, Allaire du Pont, John Hettinger, and James Binger.
The award was presented at the TRF's Galloping Gala, a fund-raiser held this year at the Montpelier Estate in Virginia. The TRF's latest facility will be at Montpelier. More than $70,000 was raised at the event.
Stuart, who operates Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services in Kentucky, oversaw the opening of new facilities in Kentucky, Florida, and Virginia, and began work for a program in South Carolina. He also raised needed funds for the organization, including an $8 million endowment from the estate of Paul Mellon.
"John Stuart gave this organization endless amounts of time and energy, knowledge of the business, political experience, love of horses and, most of all, a 'we-can-get-the-job-done attitude," said TRF executive director Diane Pikulski.
"I appreciate this award, but the real gratification comes from the much-needed amount of money that we raised while I was president," Stuart said. "Thanks to that money, we were able to open several more facilities which resulted in a lot more horses being given a happy retirement and/or opportunity to be rehabilitated into another field."