Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Lucy Bassett, part of a leading family of Thoroughbred racing, dies at 87; visitation this evening in Lexington

Lucy Gay Bassett
Lucy Gay Bassett, the owner of historic Lanark Farm on Old Frankfort Pike, died there Sunday, May 1. She was 87. Survivors include her husband of 65 years, James E."Ted" Bassett III; her brother, Dr. James G. Gay, his wife Anne and their four children.

She was the daughter of the late A. B. and Elizabeth Simms Gay of Spring Station and a 1950 graduate of Smith College in Northampton, Mass. As the owner and breeder of Lanark Farm, she bred more than 10 stakes winners, including three Grade I races and Adoration, the winner of the 2003 Breeder's Cup Distaff and earner of more than $2.1 million. She bred 21 horses who won over $100,000. According to The Blood-Horse magazine, Lanark Farm was the leading consignor of stakes winners at the Keeneland September sale in 1996-2000.

Lanark Farm was part of the original Airdrie Farm, founded by her co-ancestor, R.A. Alexander, whose home was on the property. He owned Lexington, one of the three foundation sires of Thoroughbred racing. The nearby Airdrie Stud, founded in 1972, is owned by her cousin, Elizabeth Lloyd "Libby" Jones and former Gov. Brereton Jones. For a history of the Alexander family, from the Kentucky Historical Society, click here.

Lucy Bassett was an inquisitive traveler and a wonderful ambassador for thoroughbred racing, accompanying her husband, the former president of Keeneland Race Course and Breeder's Cup Ltd., to numerous countries and racing events across the world. She was an avid and competitive golfer, winning Lexington's Idle Hour Country Club championship three times.

A major landowner, she had an intense interest in farmland in Central Kentucky. In 1975 she established the Rogers-Bassett real estate firm, which was one of the leading farm real-estate brokers for the next 20 years.

A graveside service will be held at the Lexington Cemetery Wednesday, May 4, at 12:30 p.m. Visitation will be held at Milward Funeral Directors, 159 N. Broadway, Lexington, today from 5 to 7 p.m. Memorials are suggested to the American Heart Association, the Woodford Humane Society or the Trixie Foundation.

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