October 2, 2023

Previous Kentucky Gov. Brereton C. Jones, who with wife Libby formulated Airdrie Stud in Halfway, Ky.,  has died at the age of 84, according to a Tweet from present-day Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

Born June 27, 1939, in Ohio and lifted in West Virginia, Jones adopted his father – a point out senator – into West Virginia politics, winning election to the Home of Delegates as a Republican in 1964 at the age of 25. He experienced graduated a couple of many years previously from the College of Virginia, where he attended on a football scholarship.

Functioning a modest horse farm in West Virginia, Jones would commence generating journeys to Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., where he met Elizabeth “Libby” Lloyd. The two married in 1970. They opened Airdrie Stud on property adjacent to where his bride grew up and made the farm into a big drive in the Thoroughbred marketplace. Airdrie started as a 350-acre leased farm into one particular encompassing somewhere around 2,500 acres.

Jones returned to the political arena following moving to Kentucky and switching to the Democratic Celebration, successful election as lieutenant governor in 1987 and governor in 1991. 1 of his principal targets as governor was to increase wellness care for uninsured Kentuckians. He also helped in the development of a breeders fund for Kentucky-bred horses. By a regulation then in spot, Jones was restricted to just one term in office, a law he assisted alter for long run business office holders.

Jones was a founding member of the Breeders’ Cup, taking part in an significant function as a mediator in its earliest times when the principle developed by John Gaines was in jeopardy of slipping aside around differences among numerous functions. He later advocated for and helped produce the Kentucky Equine Training Project, which forged a vast net to endorse all horse breeds in just about every county of the commonwealth.

Jones bred, elevated or owned numerous stakes winners and stood best stallions at Airdrie. Among his finest achievements was successful the Kentucky Oaks on 3 events with homebreds Happy Spell in 2008 and Believe You Can in 2012, and with Lovely Maria in 2015.

His skill to listen and function with men and women on both of those sides of the political aisle led to an outpouring of tributes from Republicans and Democrats alike pursuing his passing. His good influence on the horse industry will be felt for years to arrive.

Jones is survived by his spouse, son Bret and daughter Lucy. Funeral arrangements were not immediately known.

The Kentucky Equine Education and learning Task introduced the adhering to assertion: The Kentucky Equine Education Venture (Hold) mourns the loss of Governor Brereton Jones. Governor Jones, a visionary chief in Kentucky’s equine business, helped develop Retain in 2004 and served as chairman of KEEP’s Board of Administrators until eventually 2011.

Throughout his tenure as chairman, Governor Jones worked tirelessly to market Kentucky’s horse industry. His determination led to essential policy changes and initiatives that immediately benefited horse homeowners, breeders, trainers, and fanatics across the condition.

Below his leadership, Continue to keep worked with the point out legislature to generate the Kentucky Breeders’ Incentive Fund and the institution of historic horse racing in the Commonwealth. These plans have appreciably contributed to the existing results of Kentucky’s horse industry.

“Governor Brereton Jones was a real champion for Kentucky’s horse market,” stated Situation Clay, current chairman of Keep. “His legacy will permanently be felt in our business and all over the entire equine local community. We are deeply saddened by his decline and prolong our heartfelt condolences to his family during this hard time.”

Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin: “Brereton Jones was widely highly regarded for his management and integrity, serving the Thoroughbred field as a statesman and visionary and the Commonwealth of Kentucky as Governor and Lieutenant Governor. His enthusiasm for horses and the land realized no bounds and culminated in his beloved Airdrie Stud, which for extra than 50 years has been one of the world’s foremost breeding operations. He believed in racing and worked tirelessly to make improvements to our sport as a founding member of Breeders’ Cup and the Kentucky Equine Training Job, a member of The Jockey Club and by championing formation of the Kentucky Breeders’ Incentive Fund.

“At Keeneland, we will bear in mind Gov. Jones fondly as a breeder, operator, consignor and purchaser of the maximum caliber, and for becoming a valued member of our Advisory Board. We will rejoice his life and contributions, and the tremendous legacy he leaves powering.

“On behalf of Keeneland, we extend our deepest condolences to Gov. Jones’ wife, Libby his little ones, Bret and Lucy his grandchildren B, Jack, Thomas and Wende and the full Airdrie Stud household.”

Statement from Breeders’ Cup Ltd: Breeders’ Cup Limited and the Thoroughbred racing group are profoundly saddened by the passing of previous Kentucky Governor Brereton Jones.

A Founding Member of the Breeders’ Cup, Governor Jones served as Treasurer on the Breeders’ Cup Board of Directors from 1984-86 prior to transitioning to Director from 1988-89, throughout which he also served as Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky. He was then elected Governor of Kentucky, a term he fulfilled with distinction from 1991-1995. Following his term as Governor, during which he materially state-of-the-art the Thoroughbred sector in Kentucky and abroad for generations to come, he returned to the Breeders’ Cup as a Director from 1996-2005. His help for the business remained unwavering through the following yrs as he ongoing to provide as a Member of the Breeders’ Cup.

Governor Jones, together with his wife Libby, founded Airdrie Stud near Halfway, Ky., a hugely successful Thoroughbred breeding procedure now managed by their son, Bret Jones. Seventeen horses bred by Governor Jones participated in the Breeders’ Cup Environment Championships, which include Carl Pollard’s Caressing, winner of the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Churchill Downs. His homebred Proud Spell concluded second in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) prior to launching a 3-yr-outdated campaign that noticed her earn the Good Grounds Oaks (G2), Kentucky Oaks (G1), Delaware Oaks (G2), and Alabama Stakes (G1) en route to champion 3-12 months-previous filly honors in 2008.

“Governor Jones’ enthusiasm for Thoroughbred racing and breeding was second to none,” mentioned Drew Fleming, President and CEO of Breeders’ Cup Restricted. “Not only did he place Breeders’ Cup for lengthy-term achievements as a Founding Member, but as Governor of Kentucky he tirelessly promoted the Thoroughbred market though concurrently building a legacy that will dwell on by means of Airdrie Stud. We are without end grateful for his contributions to our activity and deliver our sincere condolences to his relatives and pals.”

Rick Hiles, president of the Kentucky HBPA: “Brereton Jones was a real champion for the horse-racing business at all levels for many years. Certainly, he was an proprietor and breeder himself, but he also understood how important the breeding and racing industries are for the financial system and tourism through the state and not just Central Kentucky and Louisville.

“Gov. Jones served the point out of Kentucky well. He was a wonderful horseman, was excellent for the marketplace and bred and raced a large amount of great horses. It was so fitting that he gained the Kentucky Oaks 3 moments — like a very well-deserved life time accomplishment award that stored multiplying. On a personal observe, we were being longtime close friends – I even educated a horse or two for him. He was just so helpful and respectful of everybody at the racetrack, regardless of whether they ran the keep track of or mucked out stalls. He will be sorely missed.”