Seth Hancock (photo by Anne M. Eberhardt)

Georgetown, KY – Seth Hancock, the horseman who syndicated the great Triple Crown winner Secretariat, will be Billy Reed’s guest Wednesday evening (Oct. 5) for the second “Conversations with Champions” event of the school year. The fireside chat will begin at 7:30 p.m. in John L. Hill Chapel and is free and open to the public.

More recently, Hancock – general partner of legendary Claiborne Farm – was able to boast of another champion at the Bourbon County operation – Blame, winner of last fall’s Breeder’s Cup Classic by a head over previously undefeated Zenyatta. After being retired at the end of 2010, Blame was sent to stud at Claiborne Farm.

“Everyone at Claiborne is excited about seeing Blame’s first crop of foals in 2012,” said Terri Rankin, Hancock’s administrative assistant.

Hancock obviously knows a champion horse when he sees one, but what about collegiate athletics? Well, Hancock has been spotted in recent years at some Georgetown College men’s basketball games and might just become a regular. Former Tigers assistant Chris Briggs, who took over as head coach last month, is married to Seth and Debbie Hancock’s niece, Elizabeth Reagan Briggs.

Reed, the former Louisville Courier-Journal sports columnist and editor and Sports Illustrated contributor, will certainly ask Hancock for his thoughts on “Secretariat,” the movie which took some license with the actual story. In 1973, Secretariat became the first Triple Crown champion in 25 years, setting new race records in two of the three events – the Kentucky Derby (1:5925), and the Belmont Stakes (2:24) – marks that still stand. Hancock syndicated Secretariat for a record $6 million in ’72.

Seth Hancock is a director at Keenland, a member and trustee of TOBA (Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association), a member of the American Graded Stakes Committee, and a member of The Jockey Club. Claiborne Farm is owned by Seth and his two sisters, Dell and Clay, grandchildren of farm founder Arthur B. Hancock, Sr. The farm was established in the early 1900s, when A.B. Hancock, Sr. transferred his operation from Virginia. Claiborne won Eclipse Awards as leading breeder in 1979 and 1984 and has been premier North American breeder by money 10 times.

For more on the news from and the history of Claiborne Farm, check out their website.  

This summer, Reed began his second year as the College’s second Executive Scholar-in- Residence (former Kentucky Gov. Martha Layne Collins, who is still in residence, was the first). On Sept. 26, he had as his first “Conversations” guest current University of Minnesota basketball coach Tubby Smith, who directed the Kentucky Wildcats to the 1998 NCAA national title. On Nov. 9, he will have a fireside chat with multi Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper editor John Carroll, whose Lexington Herald-Leader won the ’86 award for its investigation of UK basketball transgressions.

Then, at 2 p.m., Nov 22 – as part of this fall’s College for a Day – Reed will interview Angelo Dundee, trainer of young boxing champion Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali). This event will be in the Richard & Karen Ward Room of the Ensor Learning Resource Center.

Billy Reed heads up the College’s new Academy for Character in Sport, which will be seeking public involvement as we attempt to be leaders in a national discussion on restoring character, ethics and integrity to (especially) college athletics. For Billy’s thoughts as well as news on the Academy, follow his blog.