(Gov. B.C. Jones / Photo Courtesy of the Thoroughbred Club of America)
From the Thoroughbred Club of America:
The Honorable Brereton C. Jones has been selected by the Board of Directors of the Thoroughbred Club of America as the 2019 Honor Guest, Club President Katherine LaMonica announced today. Mr. Jones will be honored by the Club at its 88th Testimonial Dinner at Keeneland Race Course on Friday evening, September 27th. “The Thoroughbred Club of America is excited to name Brereton C. Jones as our 2019 Honor Guest,” said LaMonica. ”Governor Jones’ commitment and success in the Thoroughbred industry, along with the state of Kentucky, make him a deserving recipient of the Honor Guest award.”
Brereton C. Jones was born June 27, 1939, and raised in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, the son of Bartow and Nedra Jones.
A successful student athlete with a straight-A average in high school, Jones attended the University of Virginia on a football scholarship. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce and returned home to West Virginia. Upon establishing residency in Huntington and showing a keen sense for business, within three years was a successful developer of residential and commercial properties. Wanting to contribute to his home state, Jones decided to run for public office and became a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. Two years later, he was chosen as the youngest Minority Leader in state history.
In the early 1970s, after marrying Elizabeth (Libby) Lloyd of Midway, in Woodford County, Jones moved to Kentucky, where he and Libby established Airdrie Stud as a thriving thoroughbred operation of international renown. The Joneses have two children: Lucy, and Bret, who is married to Tyler Bell Jones; along with three grandchildren: “B”, Jack and Thomas who are their pride and joy.
Brereton Jones made political history by being elected Governor of Kentucky from 1991-1995 and Lt. Governor from 1987-1991 both by the largest margins in state history. When he took office, the state expenditures were exceeding the budget by nearly $400 million. The tax refund checks had to be held the first two years or they would have bounced. When he left office, he left the largest surplus in Kentucky history, over $300 million.
Brereton Jones is a founding member of the Breeders’ Cup and KEEP (Kentucky Equine Education Project) and currently serves as a Member of the Jockey Club. In 2008 Jones was the recipient of the Warner L. Jones Horseman of the Year Award for outstanding service to the Thoroughbred industry. He was also instrumental in the formation of the KBIF (Kentucky Breeders’ Incentive Fund), which uses sales tax from Kentucky stallions as breeders’ awards to all types of Kentucky bred horses including thoroughbreds, quarter horses, and pleasure horses.
Brereton and Libby Jones’ Airdrie Stud in Midway, Kentucky stands 9 stallions including the successful and fashionable young sires Cairo Prince, Creative Cause and Collected. To date, Airdrie has bred over 150 stakes winners and earners of nearly $100,000,000 – an honor roll that includes more than 20 Grade 1 winners. Jones is consistently among the leading breeders in the country.
Arguably, Mr. Jones’ greatest racing exploits came when teaming up with trainer Larry Jones to win the 2015 Kentucky Oaks with Lovely Maria, the 2012 Kentucky Oaks with Believe You Can and the 2008 Kentucky Oaks with Proud Spell, who would also win the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga and earn an Eclipse Award for the Outstanding Three-Year-Old filly in America.
The Thoroughbred Club Testimonial Dinner was inaugurated in 1932, the year the club was founded, to recognize distinguished contributions of leadership as well as success in the Thoroughbred industry. The first recipient was Col. E. R. Bradley, and other winners include William Woodward Sr., three generations of the Hancock family of Claiborne Farm, plus Ted Bassett, Shug McGaughey, Alice Chandler, Chris McCarron, and Josephine Abercrombie.