Edward A. (Buddy) Bishop, who served as the registrar for The Jockey Club from 1984 through 2003, died early Wednesday morning at the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. He was 80 years old.
The Brooklyn, N.Y., native grew up near Aqueduct Race Track and often snuck through the fences as a child to watch the races. He later worked for trainers Jack Weipert, John Nerud and Skippy Shapoff before going out on his own.
He trained a string of claiming horses for about six years but gave up training to become the horse identifier for the New York Racing Association.
In 1984, Dr. Manuel Gilman, then serving as director of The Jockey Club, recruited Bishop to become the registrar of The Jockey Club.
Bishop joined The Jockey Club staff on April 16, 1984, and was based in The Jockey Club office in New York City until the Registration Department was moved to The Jockey Club’s Lexington office in 1988.
On the occasion of Bishop’s retirement, Ogden Mills Phipps, then chairman of The Jockey Club, said, “Buddy has consistently improved our Registry operations and during that time, he has done everything in his power to ensure the integrity of The American Stud Book. He has represented us well in dealing not only with owners, breeders and trainers, but also with identifiers, stewards and other personnel at racetracks. He has also made immeasurable contributions in his interactions with foreign registries and racing and breeding organizations and he will be missed, personally and professionally, by all of those groups.”
As registrar of The Jockey Club, Bishop was also responsible for approving all horse names, and he always did his best to protect the horse, the sport of Thoroughbred racing, and in some cases, even track announcers.
Bishop served on the International Stud Book Committee (ISBC) and in the International Departmental Meeting, and in those capacities he visited and worked with breeding and racing officials in England, Chile, Venezuela, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, Barbados, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, France, Germany and Canada, among many other countries.
For 19 years, he assisted Breeders’ Cup officials with identification of foreign horses at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
In recent years, he was a frequent visitor to Calumet Farm and Keeneland to watch morning workouts.
He is survived by his wife, Joan; children, Eric and Sherry; and four grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.