2017 Thoroughbred Club of America Testimonial Dinner
Honoring G. Watts Humphrey Jr.
G. Watts Humphrey Jr. has been selected by the Board of Directors of the Thoroughbred Club of America as the 2017 Honor Guest, Club President W. Gray Lyster IV announced today. Humphrey will be honored by the Club at its 86th Testimonial Dinner at Keeneland Race Course on Friday evening, September 29th. "The Thoroughbred Club of America is excited to name G. Watts Humphrey Jr. as our 2017 Honor Guest," said Lyster. "His lifetime accomplishments as an owner and breeder, as well as his support and love for the industry, are something to be honored and celebrated."
G. Watts Humphrey Jr. was born in Cleveland, Ohio in June of 1944. He is the grandson of George M. Humphrey, a prominent Thoroughbred owner who served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. While earning his Bachelor's Degree from Yale University, Humphrey spent his summers working at his Aunt Pansy Poe’s Shawnee Farm. After graduation he served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three and a half years where he earned the rank of 1st Lieutenant-Infantry Company Commander. While enlisted in the Marines, Humphrey earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Navy Commendation Medal, and three Purple Hearts. From 1970 to 1972, Humphrey returned to education where he earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard University. After graduation Humphrey returned to Shawnee Farm, which he purchased after his aunt’s death in 1979.
Humphrey’s Thoroughbred industry affiliations include The Jockey Club, American Horse Council, and National Thoroughbred Racing Association. He is Chairman of the Board for Churchill Downs, Inc., and serves on the Executive Committee for the Keeneland Association, Inc. Humphrey has also served as Vice Chairman and Chairman for the Blood-Horse, Inc., along with serving as Treasurer, Vice President, Chairman, Director for the Board of Members and Trustees for Breeders’ Cup, Ltd.
Humphrey is President of GWH Holdings, Inc., Chairman of the International Plastics Equipment Group and The Conair Group, and Director of Smithfield Trust Company. He has also served as the Chief Executive Officer for Centria and The Techs, along with Executive positions in the National Steel Corporation, all based out of Pittsburg, PA. Humphrey served as a Trustee for Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, Vice Chairman and Trustee for Shaker Village of Peasant Hill, Director of Wausau Paper Corp, and Trustee of the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, Humphrey has served as Director for the Pittsburgh Symphony Society, and held the positions of Chairman, Deputy Chairman, and Director for the Federal Reserve Bank-Fourth District in Cleveland, Ohio.
As a Thoroughbred owner and partner in the St. Louis Cardinals MLB team, G. Watts Humphrey Jr. achieved a sports double in October 2011 when he earned the leading Thoroughbred owner title at the prestigious Keeneland Race Course Fall Meet one day after watching the Cardinals win the World Series. Humphrey raises Thoroughbreds on his 1,000-acre Shawnee Farm near Harrodsburg, Kentucky. He typically has more than 50 racehorses at the track, divided between his daughter and son-in-law, Vicki and Phil Oliver, and his longtime trainer George “Rusty” Arnold II. Humphrey’s racing stable focuses on fillies that will be channeled back to his breeding operation. Top runners include Grade 1 winners, Clear Mandate, Centre Court, and Personal Diary as well as multiple graded stakes winners Frivolous, Rey de Café, She’s Not Here, and Communique.
Humphrey married Sally Hastings Schriber in July of 1966. They have three children: Susan H. Keller, Victoria H. Oliver and G. Watts Humphrey, III. The Humphreys have the distinction of each having bred a classic winner. Mrs. Humphrey is the breeder of 1980 Kentucky Derby winner Genuine Risk, and Humphrey is the breeder of 1985 Belmont Stakes winner Crème Fraiche in partnership with an aunt, Mrs. Pamela Firman.
For over 85 years, The Thoroughbred Club of America Annual Testimonial Dinner has honored persons who have rendered distinguished service to the sport of Thoroughbred racing. To learn more about The Thoroughbred Club of America, visit us online at www.thethoughbredclub.com. For tickets to the September 29th Testimonial Dinner, please call (859) 254-4282.
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