Tuesday, March 06, 2001

Horse breeder tapped for ambassador

Churchill Downs chairman nominated for post in London

The Associated Press

        WASHINGTON — President Bush on Monday nominated millionaire horse breeder William S. Farish to be ambassador to Britain.

        White House spokesman Ari Fleischer announced the nomination during his daily press briefing.

        Mr. Farish, 62, is chairman of the board of Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby is run each year. He also is a Bush family friend and has donated tens of thou sands of dollars to the Republican Party.

        “Will understands the important place that Britain holds for the United States as a trusted ally and key trading partner,” Mr. Bush said in a written statement.

        The nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.

        The job of U.S. ambassador to the Court of St. James's often goes to a polit ical benefactor such as the man Mr. Farish would replace — Philip Lader, a close friend of former President Clinton.

        Mr. Farish has a long-standing relationship with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, who is an avid horse breeder and racing enthusiast. On four occasions, the queen has visited Mr. Farish's stables in Kentucky, staying with Mr. Farish and his wife each time. During the visits, the queen matched her mares with Mr. Farish's stallions.

        A native of Houston, Mr. Farish is founder and president of W.S. Farish & Co., an investment firm, and has been the owner and operator of Lane's End Farm, a thoroughbred breeding facility in Versailles, Ky., since 1980.

        According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in the last election, Mr. Farish donated $14,875 to Republicans, including $1,000 to Mr. Bush and $1,000 to New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Congressman Rick Lazio, who lost his bid for New York's Senate seat.

        Bloomberg News contributed to this report.


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- Horse breeder tapped for ambassador