Bea and Country Roberts, held dispersals at Keeneland in 1999 and 2000.

Bea and Country Roberts, held dispersals at Keeneland in 1999 and 2000.

Photo by Anne M. Eberhardt

Court Asked to Divide Proceeds from Roberts Dispersal

The Keeneland Association has filed an "interpleader" with Fayette (Lexington, KY.) Circuit Court, asking the court to decide how to disperse proceeds from last month's dispersal of horses owned by Robert (Country) and Bea Roberts.

The Roberts dispersal grossed $1,902,600. After deducting Keeneland's entry fees and other charges totaling $147,250, there was $1,755,350 in net proceeds from the sale.

The court filing noted that a number of parties had notified Keeneland, claiming an interest in the portion of the net sale proceeds. The claims were made by Stanley Hough, who was the Roberts' private trainer and was consignor of the racehorses sold during the dispersal; Bill Recio, who operates Lynwood Stable and manages the Robertses Post Time training center in Florida; as well as Sallee Horse Vans, Ebert Vans, Rion & Associates, Ocala Equine Medical Center, Sterling G. Thompson Company, veterinarian Dr. H. O. Ferguson, National City Bank of Kentucky, and Central Bank.

"Keeneland is unable to determine the validity and/or priority of the conflicting claims made by the defendants and is therefore filing this action...," the filing stated.

Keeneland director of finance Harvie Wilkinson said the sales company turned the matter over to the court to determine which of the claims is to be paid. He said Keeneland continues to have a good working relationship with the Robertses.

Earlier this year, the Robertses settled a lawsuit filed against them as a result of their 1999 dispersal at Keeneland. In that case, the purchasers of Saints Cup claimed the horse had a bowed tendon when he went through the sale ring. The case was settled with the Robertses taking the horse back and the buyers paying the couple for their expenses.