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  Grave Matters: Ashford Stud, Versailles, Kentucky

Photos by Liz Martiniak ©Liz Martiniak 2003; all rights reserved
and Kurt Lemke ©Kurt Lemke 2013; all rights reserved

Ashford Graves

Top:the Ashford Stud cemetery (Liz Martiniak)
Second row (Liz Martiniak): the graves of Fairy Bridge (left), Sex Appeal (right)
Bottom left (Liz Martiniak): grave of Fall Aspen

BELOW (photographs by Kurt Lemke):
First Row: Left - Recent stallion graves; Right - El Gran Senor's grave
Second Row: Left - Storm Bird's grave; Right - Woodman's grave
Coolmore recent graves
El Gran Senor's grave
Storm Bird's grave
Woodman's grave

ASHFORD STUD on Rt. 60 between Versailles and Frankfort, Kentucky, was established by Dr. William Lockridge and partners in the 1970s on land that had formerly been a cattle farm. The property was sold to overseas interests in the 1980s and now serves as the American stallion division of Irish-based Coolmore Stud. The stallions here frequently shuttle to serve the Southern Hemisphere breeding season in Australia, New Zealand, or South America. Many also have served or will serve in Ireland or Japan.

The oldest horse grave here is for the stallion SHECKY GREENE, who was America's Champion Sprinter in 1973, at 3, and later a successful sire. More recently the great stallion STORM BIRD was laid to rest here. The cemetery is also the final resting place of a trio of internationally prized broodmares. FAIRY BRIDGE was the Champion 2-year-old Filly in Ireland in 1977 and became the dam of 4 stakes winners including English 2,000 Guineas winner Sadler's Wells (a great sire at Coolmore Stud), Irish G1 winner Tate Gallery, Puppet Dance, and Fairy Gold. She also produced the unraced Fairy King, also a top international sire based at Coolmore.

Grade 1 winner FALL ASPEN was one of the greatest of modern broodmares. She was voted the KTOBF Broodmare of the Year in 1994 when her son Timber Country was America's Champion 2-year-old (he also won the next year's Preakness Stakes). He was her seventh stakes winner, and in all she produced a remarkable 9 stakes winners. Besides Timber Country, these are Grand Prix de Paris (G1) winner Fort Wood (a leading sire in South Africa), group stakes winners Northern Aspen, Elle Seule, Mazzacano, Colorado Dancer (dam of Dubai Millennium), Hamas, Bianconi, and American stakes winner Prince of Thieves.

Unraced SEX APPEAL was the dam of Try My Best (Champion 2-year-old in England and Ireland in 1977), and El Gran Senor (Champion at 2 in England, won Irish Derby, English 2,000 Guineas, etc. at 3, in 1984), and Irish G3 winner Solar. Her stakes-placed son Compliance became a leading sire in New York, and unraced Northern Guest is a top sire in South Africa.

Another mare buried here, unraced SECRETARIAT'S LOVE, was the dam of stakes winner Tiffany's Gem. --A.P.

ASHFORD STUD BURIALS (not a complete list):
El Gran Senor (c. 1981-2006)
Shecky Green (c. 1970-1984)
Storm Bird (c. 1978-2004)
Woodman (c. 1983-2007)
Fairy Bridge (f. 1975-1991)
Fall Aspen (f. 1976-1998)
Secretariat's Love (f. 1981-1995)
Sex Appeal (f. 1970-1993)

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