william s farish
william s farish

William S. Farish

(Painting : David Griffiths)


William S. Farish will be honoured with the Eclipse Award of Merit for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in Thoroughbred racing, reports the Thoroughbred Daily News.

The Lane’s End Farm head will receive the award at the Eclipse Awards ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 18.

“I am so honored to have been selected for a sport which has given me and my family so much pleasure and enjoyment for the past 35 years,” Farish said. “I am humbled to be chosen to join this list of outstanding people who have received this Award of Merit, many of whom have been longtime friends.”

William S. Farish is currently a steward and vice chairman of The Jockey Club, a director and former chair of the executive committee of the Breeders’ Cup, a member of the board of directors of the Keeneland Association, and a Keeneland trustee. The prominent owner/breeder was also chairman of the board of Churchill Downs from 1992-2001, as well as the U.S. Ambassador to the Court of Saint James between 2001-2004.

“Will Farish is deeply involved in every phase of the Thoroughbred Industry,” said Keeneland President Nick Nicholson. “If you follow the life cycle of the Thoroughbred each stage from mating, breeding, raising, registration, sales, training, racing, and then back to the farm for breeding, Will has positively impacted each step along the way. His knowledge, passion and willingness to give his time for the betterment of the industry and the sport have meant so much for the modern Thoroughbred world. We are grateful to have him serve as a trustee of Keeneland, and appreciate his advice and counsel.”

Earlier this summer, the William Stamps Farish Fund donated $1 million to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Farish, a member of the PDJF board, is currently working to help raise more than $10 million to provide a continuous fund for disabled riders.

“The more I explored the situation, the more I realized that a sustaining pool of monies was necessary,” Farish commented. “I feel that everyone who is associated with our sport realizes that a permanent source of funding is needed improve the lives of these disabled riders.”

Born in Houston, Texas, Farish purchased his first Thoroughbred in 1963. He is a two-time recipient of the Eclipse Award as leading breeder and has raced no fewer than 150 stakes winners, including 1972 Preakness Stakes hero Bee Bee Bee.