"The Thoroughbred Club of America aims to promote, foster, and encourage closer cooperation, better business relations, information & discussions in the Thoroughbred horse industry."


On March 12, 1932, a group of 15 men (named below) assembled at the LaFayette Hotel in Lexington, KY, and organized a Club which became the Thoroughbred Club of America.

On April 2, 1932, the first election of Officers was held with Thomas Piatt, President; James McClelland, Vice-President; and Jack S. Young, Secretary‑Treasurer.

The name originally selected was The Thoroughbred Club, and the original thought was to limit membership to Blue Grass and Kentucky horsemen, and to devote its activities to the furtherance and development of racing and breeding in Kentucky. But the above named group of 15 men did not foresee that within a year the organization would undergo such rapid development and acquire such fame that the boundary line of a state could not be a restriction. Its name, therefore, was changed to the Thoroughbred Club of America, and the By‑Laws were amended to make any turfman eligible for membership, regardless of where he lived. The Thoroughbred Club of America was conceived by Jack S. and Tom B. Young, sons of Col. Milton Young who served on Kentucky’s first state racing commission and was one of the state’s most famous horsemen.

The original By‑Laws of the Club were written by a committee composed of Thomas Piatt, President; Jack E. Young, Secretary‑Treasurer; and Neville Dunn.

A year after the founding, Neville Dunn was elected secretary and served in that capacity for 10 years. He was one of the most enthusiastic and dedicated members in the Club’s history. Thomas Piatt, first president of the Club, said that Mr. Dunn suggested the annual Testimonial Dinner honoring outstanding figures of the turf world and also suggested the annual Thoroughbred Club Dinner Purse. Mr. Dunn had the pleasure of winning a division of the Dinner Purse in 1952 with Mlle. Lorette.

The Club has grown in prestige, influence, and membership. The homes of the members extend worldwide, from Europe to South Africa, Canada to Mexico, and the entire United States.

One of the important steps toward consolidating the position of the Club occurred in 1954, when John R. Robinson proposed the establishment of Club rooms. Under the direction of the president at that time, John A. Bell, III, and with outstanding assistance from George Swinebroad, who was in charge of raising money for the furnishings, the Club rooms were established in the Phoenix Hotel, Lexington. The nucleus of the excellent turf library owned by the Club came from the late Robert Sterling Clark. The Club rooms remained in the Phoenix until September 15, 1965. During the presidency of James D. Drymon, 1964‑65, a decision was made to move the Club rooms when the Phoenix lease expired and a contract was signed with the Springs Motel for quarters in a new building to be built by the Springs. During the Presidency of Robert E. Courtney, 1965‑66, the task of decorating the new Club rooms and moving into them was accomplished. During the Presidency of Stanley H. Jones, the Club moved into its current offices, leasing a 19th Century manor and surrounding land from the Keeneland Association. After an extensive remodeling and renovation, the new Club rooms were opened on June 16, 1986.

Members of the Club come from all branches of the Thoroughbred industry and the organization is considered to be representative of the entire American turf and not of any special group or faction.

The purposes of the Club are set forth in Article II of the Articles of Incorporation:

“The objects and purposes for which this corporation is organized are to promote, foster, and encourage closer cooperation and better business relations in the Thoroughbred horse industry; to provide a forum for the discussion and interchange of ideas, methods, and information relating to the breeding, racing, and marketing of Thoroughbred horses and to encourage public interest therein; to gather and disseminate such knowledge and information pertaining to the breeding, raising, and racing of Thoroughbred horses of interest and value to persons having a common interest therein; and in general to endeavor in every proper and lawful way to promote better business conditions in said industry.”
The Thoroughbred Club of America House Front


Charter Members of the Thoroughbred Club of America

Founded March 12, 1932
E. Gay Drake
Neville Dunne
Roy Farmer
Eugene Gorham
Skillman Gorham
Dr. Charles E. Hagyard
Dr. Edw. W. Hagyard
Samuel M. Look
James W. McClelland
Harrie B. Scott
Piatt Steele
Thomas Piatt
Thomas Carr Piatt
Jack S. Young
Tom B. Young