Auction Company Partner Denton Dies at Age 92

John Tyree "J.T." Denton, who partnered with the late George Swinebroad to operate one of the leading Lexington, Ky. equine auction companies for more than 40 years, died Saturday at age 92.

Among the farm auctions conducted by Swinebroad-Denton Auctioneers and Real Estate during his tenure were the Man o'War and Maine Chance Farms.

Although not as well known as his partner Swinebroad, who is widely credited with popularizing much of the selling style now used by equine sale companies during his tenure as lead auctioneer at Fasig-Tipton Company before joining the Keeneland Association, Denton was an accomplished auctioneer and businessman, said Fasig-Tipton Company president Walt Robertson, who now owns Swinebroad-Denton in partnership with Ryan Mahan.

"He was the glue that held it together," Robertson said of Denton, who as a bid spotter was known as "Little Red."

"He was a pretty smart guy when it came to putting a sale together," Robertson said. "He certainly knew it all. I learned it (auctioneering), from start to finish, from him. He taught me a whole lot of what I know, but in how to conduct a sale and how to be an auctioneer."

A horse farm owner, Denton was also the long-time general manager of the Lexington Junior League Horse Show and was a board member of the Chandler Foundation, an organization named in honor of the late Kentucky Gov. A. B. "Happy" Chandler.