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Robert Clay, founder and CEO of Three Chimney’s Farm for decades, was joined by several former Bluegrass Tomorrow Board Members from the first decade of the organization, when he was awarded the Bluegrass Legacy Vision Award at the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Bluegrass on October 10 at Fasig-Tipton. The Bluegrass Legacy Award is one of Bluegrass Tomorrow’s most prestigious Vision Awards and is presented for life-long service and dedication to the Bluegrass Region. He was presented the award by his long-time farm manager at Three Chimneys, Dan Rosenberg.
Clay, who was Bluegrass Tomorrow’s first President for 10 years, was joined at the 30th Anniversary Celebration reunion from the original Board of Directors from 1989-1999: Alex Warren, first Chair of Bluegrass Tomorrow-then President of Toyota (who also made comments), Joe Graves first secretary, Buckner Woodford first treasurer; Board Members: Bill Hamilton, Hank Graddy, Tim Kelly, Farra Alford, Helen Alexander. First Executive Director Jean Ward Scott was also in attendance.
All former Chairs of Bluegrass Tomorrow were also present and were introduced including Ben Fister, Bob Hewett, Nelson Maynard, Larry Jones, Kathy Plomin, and current chair Claude Christensen. Chef Ouita Michel also made comments and catered the delicious farm to table meal. She was recognized for winning the Josephine Abercrombie Vision Award two years ago, as she was not able to attend that event.
Robert N. Clay is President CEO of Clay Holding Co, and past president/CEO & Founder of Three Chimney’s Farm in Midway, which he established with his wife Blythe in 1972. One of the founding fathers and first chairman of Bluegrass Tomorrow in 1989, Robert was also a driving force in the creation of the Bluegrass Conservancy and served on its original Board of Directors. He was also integrally involved in the development of the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program which began in discussions at Bluegrass Tomorrow and the Bluegrass Conservancy. Since the Vision Awards did not begin until the second decade of Bluegrass Tomorrow in 2001, Robert has never been honored with a Vision Award. The Vision Awards Committee thought it appropriate, in our 30th Anniversary year, that he be presented with The Bluegrass Legacy Award.
Widely known as one of the world’s preeminent horse farms, Three Chimneys has been home to a number of famous horses including U.S. Triple Crown champion Seattle Slew, U.S. Filly Triple Crown champion Chris Evert, as well as Silver Cham, Chief’s Crown, Genuine Risk, Point Given, Slew o’ Gold, Capote, Smarty Jones, and Big Brown. Always on the cutting edge, Three Chimneys was the first thoroughbred breeding farm to advertise on the Internet. Robert has also been chair of the Lexington School, member of the Jockey Club, the Keeneland Association Advisory Board, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Board of Directors, among many others.
Fittingly, the event took place in the Seattle Slew Room at Fasig-Tipton, historically one of Three Chimney’s most important sires. Over 200 attended the event, and the fund-raiser raised over $14,000 for Bluegrass Tomorrow.