William T “Buddy” Bishop III (1944-2008)
May 2015 Hall of Fame
William T. “Buddy” Bishop III was born in Richmond, Virginia, and grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. A graduate of University High School and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Buddy earned his J.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1969. Buddy’s interest in the thoroughbred business started at an early age, as he grew up on Keeneland grounds in part of what are now the Keeneland clubhouse and offices, where Buddy’s father was the first Keeneland employee and general manager, hired by Hal Price Headley. Buddy began and ended his 40 year legal career at Stoll Keenon Ogden (previously Stoll Keenon & Park), where he was mentored by Gayle Mohney. Mohney was instrumental in Keeneland’s formation and growth, as well as the creation of the first Thoroughbred stallion syndication of Secretariat. Buddy followed in Mohney’s footsteps, and went on to serve as Keeneland’s lead counsel, secretary and director. Buddy’s strong devotion to Keeneland and the thoroughbred industry culminated in his appointment as one of the three trustees of Keeneland in 2005.
Buddy was involved in virtually every major issue that affected the Thoroughbred industry from stallion syndications to public auction sales integrity. Buddy represented many local and international clients in the thoroughbred industry, including Claiborne Farm, Darley Stud, Godolphin Racing, Juddmonte Farms, Nicoma Bloodstock and Mill Ridge Farm. Buddy also represented many industry organizations, including The Jockey Club, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association, and KTA/KTOB. Buddy was involved in the community in many ways, particularly through his work as a director of Hospice of the Bluegrass and Idle Hour Country Club. Buddy was elected to The Jockey Club in 2006, and served as president of the Thoroughbred Club of America. Buddy served for many years on the Planning Committee for the National Conference on Equine Law, held annually in Lexington, and was a founder of the American College of Equine Attorneys.
The relationships Buddy forged with those in the thoroughbred industry throughout his legal career brought Buddy a profound sense of pride and great enjoyment. Buddy never took those relationships or the trust the industry leaders instilled in him for granted.
Hon. Gayle Alexander Mohney
May 2015 Hall of Fame
There are few kings around today to patronize the sport of Kings. Yet there are still to be found in paddock, grandstand, and clubhouse those of regal mien who have acquired their station by right of diligent and precise application of their talents.
One of these was Gayle Alexander Mohney. Short of build but extremely stalwart, Mohney was usually quite inconspicuous as he stood by the rail of Keenelandâs walking ring appraising the starters and studying his Daily Racing Form – though only occasionally with an eye to betting.
He was a lawyer and a sportsman; and he blended the profession and the avocation in such a manner that each enhanced the other and produced an individual of outstanding charm and integrity. He was the recognized international authority on equine law, especially in relation to syndication and tax matters; he was secretary-treasurer and a member of the board of directors of the Keeneland Association as well as its legal counsel, as a matter of fact, he had helped to draw the charter of the Association; he served as a director of Lexington’s First Security National Bank and Trust Company, was a former director of The Lexington Herald-Leader Company, chairman of the Kentucky State Police Personnel Board, and was active in the Fayette County Industrial Foundation, the group that attracted American Can, Square D, Westinghouse Air Brake, and the Trane Company to the Lexington area.
He counseled the Grayson Foundation, The American Thoroughbred Breeders Association, and the American Horse Council, and helped incorporate the Thoroughbred Breeders of Kentucky.
While at the University of Kentucky in the mid-1920s, Mohney was a four-letter man who was selected as a Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum Laude. He climaxed his football career by kicking the field goal that won the Kentucky-Tennessee game of 1926. His intense loyalty to University of Kentucky football and basketball teams was manifest through the years.
He loved fishing. Heâd go anywhere to fish, it was said. Anywhere except on the deep sea. He preferred light tackle and wasn’t attracted to the sport in which “the boat does the fishing” as he put it.
Many of these accomplishments were traits that might have been found in innumerable successful business and professional men. Somehow Gayle Mohney was unique. His clientele were the Whoâs Who of the Thoroughbred and Standardbred world – the Whitneys, the Wideners, the Combses, John W. Galbreath, Marion duPont Scott, Elizabeth Arden, Edward S. Moore, and P. J. Baugh, to name a few. He had pioneered the legal aspects of stallion syndication, had conceived the internationally used model of such contracts, and had personally handled the syndication of some of the most valuable stallions – deals that ran into the tens of millions of dollars. He had worked out multimillion dollar leasing arrangements for horses considered so valuable their owners refused to sell them. And he had steered many a large estate through the devious channels set by tax collectors.
Gayle Mohney set a high standard for all attorneys in the equine field to follow.
Robert S. Miller (1938-2002)
May 2015 Hall of Fame
Bob was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on June 19, 1938. He graduated from University High School in Lexington, attended St. Antony’s College at Oxford University, Oxford, England (1960-1961) and graduated from Haverford College (A.B., 1960) and Harvard University (LL.B., 1964). He was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1964 and the Pennsylvania Bar in 1987. He began his practice at the firm of Miller, Griffin & Marks, PSC in 1964.
Bob authored numerous articles including what has become the defining legal paper on custom and usage in the thoroughbred industry entitled “America Singing: Custom and Usage in the Thoroughbred Horse Business,” 74 Kentucky Law Journal 781, 1986.
Bob was instrumental in the original equine seminars presented in Lexington beginning in 1988 which were thereafter presented by the University of Kentucky College of Law CLE program under the banner of the University of Kentucky National Equine Seminar. He was the Chairman of the seminar from 1988-1991. As part of the annual seminar, in 1986 he published and presented the article “The Auction, Exchange & Non-Private Sale of Horses & Interests in Horses, and in 1987 he published and presented “Borrowing & Lending on Equine Assets.” Thereafter, he published in the Kentucky Law Journal “The Sale of Horses and Horse Interests: A Transactional Approach,” 78 Kentucky Law Journal 517, 1990.
Bob served on the Kentucky Board of Bar Examiners for many years. He was appointed to the Board on October 1, 1986, and served until 2002. He was elected by the Board members on an unanimous vote as its secretary from 1992 until 1997 and appointed by the Supreme Court as the Chair of the Board from 1997 until his resignation in 2002.
In 1994 he served as a Special Justice for the Kentucky Supreme Court on Kuprion v Fitzgerald, 888 S.W.2d 679 (Ky. 1994), the case which addressed the constitutional challenge to the Kentucky Family Courts. Bob wrote a concurring opinion.
Before his death in 2002, he received the Kentucky Chief Justice’s Special Service Award.
A prominent Democratic activist and social justice advocate, Bob was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame (posthumously, in 2003). Bobâs accomplishments include helping to plan the historic march on Washington led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963. He drafted the charter of the Lexington/Fayette County Urban League and was its first director, and he drafted the charter of the Lexington Human Rights Commission, serving as one of its first commissioners.
He was a member of the Kentucky, Fayette County, Kentucky and American Bar Associations and focused his practice with Miller, Griffin & Marks, PSC in Equine Law, Real Estate Development Law and Real Estate-Commercial Law
Edward S. “Ned” Bonnie
May 2015 Hall of Fame
Edward S. “Ned” Bonnie, a retired âof counselâ to Frost Brown Todd, concentrated his practice in the area of equine law and is now a valuable resource to the Firm. He acted as counsel for owners, trainers, veterinarians, jockeys, feed men, blacksmiths and others in the horse business.
Nedâs love of horses has guided his legal career, as well as his personal life. He owns, breaks, trains, and rides hunters, jumpers and steeplechasers, and with his wife, Cornelia Winthorp Bonnie, owns and operates a 530-acre horse and cattle farm in Oldham County, Kentucky.
Ned was responsible for the prosecution and/or defense of over 1,000 drugging cases in the horse business. He tried cases before Stewards, Commissions and Courts in many racing states.
Ned represented private horse associations, including the United States Equestrian Federation (“USEF”) and the National Steeplechasing Association (“NSA”) and was responsible for drafting drug rules and prosecuting offenders of these rules.
He has been a lecturer at the University of Louisville Stewardsâ Accreditation Program, the University of Kentucky National Equine Law Conference and the University of Arizona Stewardsâ Accreditation Program on the interpretation and administration of drug rules in Kentucky and Nationally. Ned authored articles on drug testing, procedural due process requirements and administering drug rules. He has been a presenter at many national meetings of racing administrators on racing integrity and drug testing.
Ned has represented the TOBA and The Blood-Horse for over 20 years. He has assisted in creating the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association. He also represented the Kentucky Division of the Horsemenâs Benevolent and Protective Association and was its secretary-treasurer for 14 years. Ned was General Counsel for the national HBPA from 1977 – 1982. Founder of the American College of Equine Attorneys.
Ned has been, and continues to be, an outspoken advocate for modern equine drug testing and drug research in Kentucky and elsewhere.
Ned has received the Keene Daingerfield Award Recipient, for substantial contributions to the education and professionalism of Stewards and Judges by the Equine Industry Program of the University of Louisville. He also has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Advancement of Equestrian Sports, United States Equestrian Federation. Ned has served as a Member of the Kentucky Racing Commission, where he is Chairman of the Rules Committee, The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and The Jockey Club.
Don S. Sturgill (1928-2002)
May 2015 Hall of Fame
Don grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, graduating from Baylor Military Academy in Chattanooga and from Harvard College in 1950. After serving as a second lieutenant in the Air Force, he came back to Lexington to graduate from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Don then went into private practice with Roy Moreland and Gardner Turner, forming the firm “Sturgill, Moreland & Turner” in 1957. His early private practice was interrupted by an appointment as Commissioner of Public Safety for Gov. A.B. “Happy” Chandlerâs second administration. He was named “Kentucky Man of the Year” by WHAS and the Louisville Courier-Journal for his work during that time period. In 1960, Don joined the national presidential campaign staff of then-Senators John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, working part-time in Washington, D.C., an opportunity made possible by the friendship he forged with Bobby Kennedy while at Harvard.
In the early 1960s, Don, his father, and brother, Tom Sturgill, formed Beaconsfield Farm, a thoroughbred horse operation. They also had an insurance agency that included equine insurance. By 1970, Don was private counsel for P.A.B. Widener IV, a former owner of Elmendorf Farm, a well-known breeding farm in Lexington. Widenerâs grandfather had built Hialeah and his mother, Gertrude Widener, was a leading international thoroughbred owner and breeder. After Mrs. Widenerâs death in 1970, Don arranged and held a very successful private auction at Deauville, France, to disperse her European thoroughbreds. He then made several trips to South Africa for private dispersal of Mrs. Widenerâs horses in that country. In 1974, Don was asked to represent Spendthrift Farm. Don then gave up political involvement and devoted himself solely to the practice of equine law.
At that time, conduct of horse business changed from a handshake deal to ever more complicated written contracts, especially stallion syndications. During the early 1970s, Don, his friend John Gaines of Gainesway, and attorney friends for Claiborne (then, with Spendthrift, the big three breeding farms in Lexington) were very concerned that the Securities & Exchange Commission would declare a horse syndication to be a security, requiring registration complying with complex S.E.C. rules and regulations. In 1975, Rutherford B. Campbell, the well-respected professor of securities law at the U.K. College of Law wrote an article declaring that a syndication was actually a security. Don realized that immediate action was necessity, reasoning that the S.E.C. would not be as likely to bring action against Spendthrift, Claiborne or Gainesway but would find a smaller farm whose attorneys had modified copies of their syndicate agreements. Such a smaller farm might not have means to fight government action and their attorneys not as cognizant of potential S.E.C. problems. He invited representatives from Claiborne and Gainesway and all other attorneys around Lexington who were doing any equine law whatsoever (not very many in those days) to meet at his office to discuss syndication. He brought in Professor Campbell to instruct them all as to how and why adding or deleting certain terms and conditions would make it harder for a stallion syndication to be declared a security requiring registration. Gainesway later took further action to obtain a “no-action” letter from the S.E.C., incorporating many points discussed at that meeting. Don realized that having knowledgeable attorneys could only help the industry. Besides, it gave him a chance to talk “horse law” with other attorneys. He loved the fact that, over the years, many who did limited equine law seem to feel free to call him if they had any questions.
Don was instrumental in the syndication of about 75 thoroughbred stallions, including triple-crown winners Seattle Slew and Affirmed. In the early 1980s, he wrote articles on stallion syndication that attracted wide attention and brought him calls from equine attorneys all over the country. However, his cases involved nearly every aspects of the equine and equine insurance business. His background as an owner/breeder provided him with unique knowledge of the industry. He enjoyed horse races, rarely missing a live racing day at Keeneland. He cared about the people who were involved in the sport – all the way from hot walkers and grooms to trainers, owners and breeders. His clients included Nelson Bunker Hunt, Allen Paulson, His Highness the Aga Khan, William DuPont, Marvin Warner, Louis E. Wolfson, Paul de Moussac, and the Wright family trust in its successful suit against a Lexington bank trustee for the loss of Calumet Farm.
Don was a key figure in many prominent and significant racing law cases, thanks in parts to his tenure as general counsel for the National and Kentucky chapters of the Horsemenâs Benevolent & Protection Associative (HBPA), beginning in 1989. His practice then shifted to racing law more than breeding law, although several of his law partners at Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney, including his wife Ann Sturgill, continued to actively practice breeding law. Horsemen everywhere continue to benefit from his arduous work on their behalf concerning simulcasting law, as Don was instrumental in getting simulcast revenues distributed to horsemen at a time when few were familiar with the emerging technology. Notably he led the seminal federal case that upheld the horsemen’s right to simulcasting revenue under the Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978 (Ky HBPA v. Turfway Park Racing Ass ân).
Don was a regular presenter for the National Equine Law Conference and its predecessor, the Keeneland Practical Equine Business & Law Conference. The conference was initiated in 1985 by Don’s firm, Sturgill, Turner & Truitt, and another Lexington firm, Stoll, Keenon and Park, and the Keeneland Association. Don loved horses, races, race tracks, trainers, veterinarians, jockeys, stewards, starters, clockers, grooms, and racing fans. He thoroughly enjoyed equine law and equine lawyers. He was an initial director of American College of Equine Attorneys at its formation. Don passed on in 2002 and thus did not get to see its growth and importance. He would be so proud of the success of the American College of Equine Attorneys and especially appreciative of this great honor today.