03/30/2016 3:15PM

Former Jockey Club registrar Bishop dies at 80


Edward A. “Buddy” Bishop, the registrar for The Jockey Club from 1984 to 2003, died Wednesday morning of congestive heart failure at a hospital in Lexington, Ky., according to The Jockey Club. Bishop was 80.

A lifelong racing fan, Bishop was recruited to serve as the registrar after several years working as the horse identifier for the New York Racing Association tracks. As Jockey Club registrar, Bishop was responsible for “maintaining the integrity” of the American Stud Book, a job description that included the approval of all horse names and working with owners and breeders both domestically and internationally.

During Bishop’s tenure, the approval of horse names evolved from a review and approval process relying mostly on human eyes and ears to one that increasingly used specialized computer programs trained to identify names that conflicted with the American Stud Book rules or the perception of the sport. Throughout both eras, Bishop had the final say on whether a name was approved.

Though Bishop often caught double entendres and tongue twisters designed to frustrate race-callers, he acknowledged during his career that some names slipped beyond his grasp. Some owners, such as Mike Pegram and Ceasar Kimmel, took pride in getting a risqué name past Bishop.

Prior to working at NYRA, Bishop trained a small string of horses for six years. He worked in the barns of John Nerud, Jack Weipert, and Skippy Shapoff before going out on his own.

While the registrar, Bishop served on the International Stud Book Committee and on the International Departmental Meeting, a consortium of national stud book registries. He also assisted the Breeders’ Cup with the identification of foreign horses for its event.

Bishop is survived by his wife, Joan; two children, Eric and Sherry; and four grandchildren.