Alice Chandler, owner of Mill Ridge Farm, will receive an Eclipse Award of Merit for her lifetime achievements in horse racing at the 38th Eclipse Awards ceremony to be held at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on 26 January 2009.
Alice Chandler, who is the daughter of Keeneland Association co-founder Hal Price Headley, established Mill Ridge Farm with just four mares following the death of her father in 1962. The Thoroughbred Daily News writes that one of those mares, Attica, produced the Sir Gaylord colt Sir Ivor in 1965, which was acquired by Arthur “Bull” Hancock on behalf of Raymond Guest for $42,000 as a yearling at Keeneland July in 1966. Sir Ivor went on to claim the Epsom Derby in 1968 as well as Horse of the Year in England. “Sir Ivor’s influence provided a major turning point in opening up the American market to the European market,” said Keeneland’s President and CEO Nick Nicholson. “It convinced foreign buyers that North American pedigrees could be adapted to European training methods and win Classic races.”
Since Sir Ivor, Mill Ridge Farm has bred, raced or sold the likes of 2001 Horse of the Year Point Given, 2005 Kentucky Derby hero Giacomo and Breeders’ Cup winners Artie Schiller, Sweet Catomine, Round Pond, Spain and Johar. Alice Chandler has been involved with many equine organizations including serving as chairman of the University of Kentucky Equine Research Foundation, as president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, as a director of the Breeders’ Cup, Keeneland Association, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association; and as a member of the Equine Drug Council and the Gluck Research Center.
She believes that it has been important for her to take an active leadership role in these important programmes and organizations.
“My father was a great man. He had five daughters before his first son. Horses have been my life. When I was eight-years-old, I rode my pony, Pal, from the farm up to Keeneland. It’s been a natural for me.”
“I am just thrilled to be honored with the Eclipse Award,” said Alice Chandler. “I have had a wonderful life with Thoroughbreds.”