2022 Honor Guest -
Edward L. Bowen


2022 Thoroughbred Club of America Testimonial Dinner
Honoring Edward L. Bowen

Edward L. Bowen has been selected by the Board of Directors of the Thoroughbred Club of America as the 2022 Honor Guest, Club President Tony Lacy announced today. "The Thoroughbred Club of America is delighted to name Edward Bowen as its 2022 Honor Guest", said Lacy. "Ed is respected worldwide for his integrity, talent and love of racing, and his wide-ranging contributions to the horse industry cannot be overstated. He has been the steward of such cornerstone institutions as the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and BloodHorse, an Eclipse Award-winning journalist, prolific author and guardian of the important history of our great sport. We congratulate Ed and thank him for his lifelong commitment to the betterment of racing."
Mr. Bowen will be honored by the Club at its 91st Testimonial Dinner, which will be held at Keeneland on Friday, March 31st, 2023. Designation as the 2022 award recipient reflects postponements of the annual event caused by the COVID pandemic.
Bowen, a racing journalist and historian for some 60 years, is a former editor-in-chief of The Blood-Horse magazine and the author of 22 books on horse racing. He also served 24 years as President of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, traditionally the leading source of funding for veterinary research specifically to promote horse health and soundness.
Bowen was born on Dec. 23, 1942, in Welch, West Virginia. His family moved to South Florida, and he grew up in Fort Lauderdale. He developed an early interest in horse racing, influenced by horseback riding, reading the Black Stallion books by Walter Farley, and watching locally televised stakes races from Hialeah and Gulfstream Park. Bowen spent post-high school and college summers working for the local Sun-Sentinel newspaper, on the broodmare crew at Ocala Stud in Florida, and as a hot walker and groom at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. In 1963, he secured a writing job at The Blood-Horse in Lexington and transferred from the University of Florida to the University of Kentucky.
From 1968-70, he was editor of the monthly Canadian Horse magazine in Toronto, Ontario, then returned to Lexington to become managing editor of The Blood-Horse. In January of 1987, he succeeded his mentor, Kent Hollingsworth, as editor-in-chief. Bowen held that post for five years, was transferred to senior editor in 1992, and left the publication in 1993. He was hired as president of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation in 1994.
During his 24 years with Grayson, Bowen felt fortunate to work for such industry leaders as John Hettinger and Dell Hancock, chairmen of the Foundation, plus active and dedicated boards of directors. From 1994 until his retirement at the end of 2018, Bowen's role included support of the board's raising sufficient funds to provide $22 million for research projects. That total was significant in raising to $32.1 million, which was provided to 45 universities to fund 412 projects since 1983. The Foundation supports research for all horses, not only Thoroughbreds.
Both during and after his employment at The Blood-Horse, Bowen has been active in writing books commissioned by that firm as well as other publishers. In addition to authoring 22 racing books, he has contributed chapters, forewords, or prefaces for 17 additional volumes on Thoroughbreds and two books on natural attractions open to the public.
In addition to The Blood-Horse and Canadian Horse, Bowen's work has been published in the following periodicals: Southern Living, Toronto Star, Bloodstock Breeders' Review (Annual, England), Thoroughbred Times, Lexington Herald-Leader, Sun-Sentinel (South Florida), Courses & Elevage (France), Futurity (Japan), and Jockey Club (Argentina).
Bowen has won the following writing awards: Eclipse Award (magazine division), National Turf Writers Association's Walter Haight Award, Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Charles Engelhard Award, Pimlico's Old Hilltop Award, ForeWord Magazine's Gold Level designation (Sports Category), and the Ocala-Marion County Chamber of Commerce Journalism Award.
Bowen, a Kentucky Colonel, is a Past-President of the Thoroughbred Club of America and a former board member of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. He is currently a trustee of the National Museum of Racing, for which he has served for some 35 years as chairman of its Hall of Fame Nominating Committee and is also chairman of its Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor Selection Committee.
Bowen served six years in the United States Army Reserve and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He and his wife, Ruthie, live in Versailles, Ky., and are parents of a son, George. Bowen also is the father of daughters Jennifer Schafhauser (Eric) and Tracy Bowen and of granddaughters Emily Schafhauser and Julia Schafhauser.
For 91 years, The Thoroughbred Club of America Annual Testimonial Dinner has honored persons who have rendered distinguished service to the sport of Thoroughbred racing. To learn more about The Thoroughbred Club of America, visit us online at www.thethoroughbredclub.com. For tickets to the October 1st Testimonial Dinner, please call (859) 254-4282.
2022 Honor Guest Dinner Program
Program Video