01/06/2012 11:01AM

2011 Eclipse Awards: Brereton Jones

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Former Kentucky Gov. Bereton C. Jones has long been a fixture at Thoroughbred sales and in the winner’s circle as a breeder. In 2011, the Airdrie Stud operator bred earners of more than $5.6 million. Factor in horses he bred in partnership, and the figures go up to 11 stakes winners and earnings of more than $6.6 million. Those were led by Del Mar Oaks winner Summer Soiree, whom Jones bred in partnership with his son Bret, but the Jones breeding program also produced such graded winners as Silver Medallion, Savvy Supreme, Believe You Can, and Silver Reunion. Another prominent Jones-bred, 2010 Canadian Horse of the Year Biofuel, was graded-placed in 2011 before retiring to the breeding shed.

Jones, who was Kentucky’s governor from 1991 to 1995, founded Airdrie Stud with his wife, Libby, in 1972 on some of the state’s most historic and fruitful land. Its 2,500 acres include land that was once part of the famed Woodburn Stud, home of the great nineteenth century stallion Lexington. Today, Airdrie is one of the state’s prominent breeding operations with 10 stallions and about 200 broodmares.

This would be Jones’s first Eclipse Award as breeder, but two of the horses he bred have earned the coveted statuettes. Carl Pollard’s Caressing won the 2000 award as champion juvenile filly, and Jones’s homebred Proud Spell was voted 2008 champion 3-year-old filly.