We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Ted Bates this weekend. Ted Bates has been a long time influential member of KTFMC. He served as Club President in 1961, and was honored as Farm Manager of the Year in 1993. Mr. Bates has also been an integral part of the Farm Manager of the Year selection for many years. He will be greatly missed throughout the industry especially within our club. We will forward the details of his funeral arrangements as we receive them.
The following was put together by Alfred Nuckols about Mr. Bates last year when the Club renamed the Farm Manager of the Year Award.
Ted, born Theodore Bright Bates in 1923 in Carrollton, Kentucky, comes from a farming background that includes his grandfather, Newton Bright, who served several terms in the Kentucky Senate and then was elected Commissioner of Agriculture. As a boy, Ted moved from Carrollton to Eminence where his grandfather’s farms were located and where his father, Theodore W. Bates, began his law career in nearby New Castle. Ted later moved with his family to Louisville and graduated from Louisville Male High School. Ted always considered Eminence “home” and moved back there after high school where he spent a lot of time with his grandparents working on their farms as well as others in the area. Ted eventually continued his education at the University of Kentucky where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture.
Ted’s first job in the Thoroughbred industry was at Coldstream Farm under farm manager Charlie Kenney. Charlie also happened to have a foreman working for him by the name of Melvin Cinnamon who Ted developed a lifelong friendship with. Ted said, “Mr. Kenney taught me the horse business, and Melvin Cinnamon taught me horse husbandry.” Not able to afford marriage on his salary at Coldstream, Ted became the assistant county extension agent for Shelby County and shortly thereafter married his wife, Evelyn Nash.
In 1956, Melvin Cinnamon convinced Ted to become his assistant manager at Maine Chance Farm owned by Elizabeth Arden Graham. Not an easy lady to work for, Melvin Cinnamon, taking Ted with him, moved to Calumet in 1958 for Mrs. Gene Markey after her manager, Mr. Paul Eblehardt, was struck by lightning while playing golf and never completely recovered. In a career there lasting five years, Ted worked with a great roster of stallions headed by the premiere sire, Bull Lea. Ted’s favorite horse while at Calumet was Triple Crown Champion Citation who impressed him with his speed, determination and intelligence.
While managing Foxtail Farm on Keene Road in Nicholasville, Fasig-Tipton approached Ted about bringing that sales company back to Kentucky and hired him as general manager in 1970. After a breeding stock and mixed sale the first few years, the decision was made to have a yearling sale in 1974. Fasig-Tipton had lost its lease at the Thoroughbred Training Center and leased Henry Alexander’s farm on the Old Frankfort Pike where two barns were built for their first yearling sale. Out of that first July Sale of forty-eight yearlings came Derby and Belmont winner, Bold Forbes, and Preakness winner, Elocutionist. The next year Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew came out of the Fasig-Tipton July Sale and Fasig-Tipton was firmly established as an auction house once again in Central Kentucky.
Feeling an orientation towards the farm, Ted left Fasig-Tipton in 1978 and worked as manager of Wimbledon Farm for Hilary Boone for four years and then served a brief stint with BKY farm. After this he served in an advisory capacity for Paul Miller and Kermit Blackburn. When Elmer Whitaker had a dispersal of his stock, Ted moved onto a tract of Bwamazon Farm on the Paris Pike where he started and maintained his own breeding, boarding, breaking and sales operation under the banner of Ted Bates Farm for more than twenty-two years. Probably one of his favorite runners during this time was a filly named Miss Landy who was named for one of Ted’s best clients over the years, Ms. Landy Armstrong, a New Jersey lady who bred and raced the dam of Miss Landy, the stakes winning mare All the Vees. When she died, Ted bought All the Vees from her estate and continued to keep her there and breed her.
Ted has been the recipient of many honors and has held many offices over the years in addition to being a Past President, Farm Manager of the Year and permanent member of the Farm Manager of the Year selection committee for the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club. He has served as a trustee for the University of Kentucky and is a past president of the University of Kentucky Alumni Association. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of Fasig-Tipton and is currently a Director Emeritus of Fasig –Tipton. He has also served as the 1976-77 President of the Thoroughbred Club of America. Ted is the 2013 recipient of the TOBA Hardboot Breeders Award which pays tribute to distinctive but unsung breeders that help make up the backbone of the Thoroughbred industry. He is also the father of Ted Bates, a vice president at Hilliard Lyons in Lexington, and Eve Bates Greathouse, a Scott County resident.
It is with great admiration, respect and gratitude for you and your service that the Club renames the Thoroughbred Farm Manager of the Year award in your honor. By proclamation of the officers and board of directors of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club, it shall henceforth be known as the “Ted Bates Thoroughbred Farm Manager of the Year Award.”