A horse racing icon hosted Queen Elizabeth, Presidents, and celebrities

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 3:08 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -From J. Edgar Hoover to Queen Elizabeth to President Reagan, Ted Bassett III has hosted and rubbed elbows with some of the most influential people in the world. Today on his 99th birthday, Mayor Linda Gorton declared this “James E. Bassett III Day”. His 40-years serving Keeneland took him from sales to President, Chairman of the Board, and Trustee. During her visit to Keeneland in October of 1984, Queen Elizabeth II watched the first Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, won by Happy Valley Farm’s Sintra. To accommodate the queen, per the wishes of her security team, Keeneland built a Winner’s Circle in which she made the trophy presentation.

The racing Hall of Fame inductee also served as Director of the Kentucky State Police. Mr Bassett was a US Marine in WWII, and was wounded twice in the South Pacific. He earned honorary degrees from the University of Kentucky, Transylvania University, and Eastern Kentucky University.

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