Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Anne Peters, August 11, 2008

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Riding lessons in high school / Equine management degree in college

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Partial Transcript: Alright, this is Kim Lady Smith and today is August 11th, 2008.

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about her family life growing up and taking riding lessons in high school. She talks about going to college for pre-veterinary medicine but switching to an equine management track.

Keywords: "Horse crazy children"; Animal sciences; Colleges; Equine management; Hensley's Riding Academy; High schools; Honors students; Horse riding lessons; Organic chemistry; Pre-veterinary; Three Chimneys Farm; Winton Farm (Lexington, Ky.)

Subjects: Blacksmithing.; Families.; Grandfathers; Horsemanship.; Hungary; Kentucky; McGee, William R., 1917-2017; Pittsburgh (Pa.); Romania; Thoroughbred horse; University of Massachusetts Amherst

00:10:14 - Moving to Kentucky / Working at Winton Farm

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Partial Transcript: Uh, Dr. McGee, you said you worked at his farm.

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about her time working at Dr. McGee's office when she first came to Kentucky after college. She tells a story about driving around and looking at horses and farms.

Keywords: Assistant secretaries; Desert Vixen (Race horse); North Ridge Farm; Physical reports; Secretariat (Race horse), 1970-1989.; Secrettame (Race horse); Vet records; Winton Farm; Working; Yearlings

Subjects: Fillies; Horse farms--Kentucky; Keeneland (Lexington, Ky.); Mares; McGee, William R., 1917-2017; Race horses.; Secretariat (Horse), 1970-1989.; Thoroughbred horse

00:14:50 - Starting her job at Three Chimneys Farm

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Partial Transcript: So where did you go after you left, uh, Winton, you said?

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about her jobs after working for Dr. McGee, including starting part-time at Three Chimneys Farm, which resulted in her position there today as pedigree expert.

Keywords: Accounts; Assistant secretaries; Banke, Barbara; Billing; Bloodstock agents; Broodmares; Clay, Robert; Data entry; Hot walkers; Indexing sales catalogues; Jobs; Lossen, Dick; Microfilm; Nodouble (Race horse); Shahrastani (Race horse); Slew o' Gold (Race horse); Three Chimneys Farm; Van Camp, Vicky; Vet records; Winton Farm

Subjects: Bloodstock Research Information Services; Chief's Crown (Race horse); Daily Racing Form, Inc.; Mares; Racetracks (Horse racing); Seattle Slew (Race horse), 1974-2002.; Stallions--Breeding; Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees

00:18:55 - Interest in pedigrees

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Partial Transcript: Now when did you first become interested in, in that aspect of, uh--

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about how she was always interested in horses and pedigrees since she was a child. She would write all of the horse farms in Kentucky and ask them to mail her information about their horses.

Keywords: Arts and Letters (Race horse); Gainesway Farm; Greentree Farm; Jones, Nancy; The Meadows racetrack; Tom Fool (Race horse); Winton Farm

Subjects: Calumet Farm; Childhood; Horse farms--Kentucky; Pittsburgh (Pa.); Stallions; Standardbred horse.; Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees

00:20:59 - Favorite race horses and stallions

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Partial Transcript: Now as you were growing up, there were some, uh, great horses out there.

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about how much she loved Secretariat and lists a bunch of other horses that she admired on the track and as breeding stallions.

Keywords: A.P. Indy (Race horse); Canonero II (Race horse); Chestnuts; Claiborne Farm; Colleges; Forward Pass (Race horse); Gone West (Race horse); Hopeful Stakes; Pocahontas Stakes; Point Given (Race horse); Red horses; Risen Star (Race horse); Riva Ridge (Race horse); River Downs; Secretariat (Race horse), 1970-1989.; Stallion management; Storm Cat (Race horse); Summer Squall (Race horse); Three Chimneys Farm; Weekend Surprise (Race horse); Winning

Subjects: Affirmed (Race horse); Alydar (Race horse); Belmont Stakes; Calumet Farm; Chenery, Penny, 1922-2017.; Chief's Crown (Race horse); Churchill Downs (Louisville, Ky. : Racetrack); Horse racing; Horse syndication; Husbands; Kentucky Derby; Man o' War (Race horse), 1917-1947; Marriage; Pennsylvania; Race horses.; Ruffian (Race horse); Seattle Slew (Race horse), 1974-2002.; Secretariat (Horse), 1970-1989.; Smarty Jones (Race horse); Thoroughbred horse

00:28:15 - Marriage / Horse ownership

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Partial Transcript: Okay, I'm going to take you back a little bit.

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about marrying and divorcing. She talks about the horses she personally owned for pleasure, and also about the broodmare that she owned briefly.

Keywords: Big Sink Farm; Broodmares; Here Comes Doris (Race horse); Hero's Hurrah (Race horse); Maintenance workers; Our Mims Retirement Haven; Rock Slide (Race horse)

Subjects: Colic.; Divorce; Horse breeders; Horse owners; Horses; Horses--Surgery.; Husbands; Kentucky; Mares; Marriage; New York; Pennsylvania; Sisters; Thoroughbred horse--Breeding

00:35:32 - Pedigree advising and broodmare selections

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Partial Transcript: Okay, I'm going to take you back to, um, your time--let's go back to, well, uh, when you came to Three Chimneys and how you became involved in the pedigree research and advising.

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about getting more involved in pedigree researching and advising at Three Chimneys Farm. She talks about advising Robert Clay on his own broodmares, her interest in the Aga Khan's breeding program, and the complicated nature of turning down broodmares for breeding to the stallions.

Keywords: Bloodlines; Bold Lad (IRE) (Race horse); Broodmares; Clay, Robert; Pedigree advising; Pedigree research; Red flags; Sales consignments; Shahrastani (Race horse); Shareholders; Slew o' Gold (Race horse); Stud fees; Three Chimneys Farm; Woolums, Sissy

Subjects: Aga Khan IV, 1936-; Chief's Crown (Race horse); Horse breeders; Kentucky Derby; Mares; Seattle Slew (Race horse), 1974-2002.; Shergar (Race horse); Smarty Jones (Race horse); Stallions--Breeding; Thoroughbred horse--Breeding; Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees

00:44:13 - Seattle Slew / Three Chimneys Farm's growth

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Partial Transcript: Um, so, w--by the time you left here--well, let's just take this back again.

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about getting Seattle Slew at Three Chimneys Farm, the politics surrounding making breeding selections to such elite stallions, and the huge growth of the stallion division at Three Chimneys Farm.

Keywords: Broodmares; Champions; Clay, Robert; Elite; Fertility; Mellon, Paul; Phipps, Ogden; Politics; Slew o' Gold (Race horse); Three Chimneys Farm; Yearlings

Subjects: Careers; Chief's Crown (Race horse); Horse breeders; Horse farms--Kentucky; Mares; Northern Dancer (Race horse); Seattle Slew (Race horse), 1974-2002.; Spendthrift Farm; Stallions--Breeding; Thoroughbred horse--Breeding--Kentucky

00:49:45 - Living in Pennsylvania / Freelancing

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Partial Transcript: Now let's talk about those, was it fifteen years that--between when you left Three Chimneys and when you came back?

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about what she did for the fifteen years she lived in Pennsylvania, which included freelance work for multiple publications and private pedigree and breeding consulting.

Keywords: Brinsfield, Les; Broodmares; Column writers; Freelancers; Freelancing; High Flyer newsletter; Magazines; Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred; Pedigree advisors; Pedigree consultants; The Blood-Horse magazine; Thoroughbred Owner and Breeder magazine; Thoroughbred Times; Three Chimneys Farm; Writing

Subjects: Carlisle (Pa.); Consultants; Divorce; Editors; Families; Horse farms; Husbands; Mares; Publications.; Self-employed.; Thoroughbred horse; Web sites.

00:53:15 - Consulting clients

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Partial Transcript: Now who would some of your clients have been as a consultant?

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about a few of her memorable clients from her self-employed consulting work.

Keywords: Bloodlines; Broodmares; Clients; Florida pedigrees; Julie Mis (Race horse); Leatherbury, King; Malibu Moon (Race horse); Maryland breeders; Odd Day (Race horse); Otto, Dick; Smiling Neatly (Race horse); Stakes winners; Summer Mis (Race horse); Trimble, Randy

Subjects: Biomechanics; Consultants; Horse breeders; Horse trainers; Kentucky; Mares; Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees

00:55:31 - Breeding better race horses

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Partial Transcript: Uh, do you have any challenges, uh--I may not ask this right because I, clearly I'm not from that as--not from the industry and don't know this aspect of the industry very well...

Segment Synopsis: Peters discusses her feelings regarding breeding Thoroughbreds. She talks about people wanting to breed for commercial selling purposes and how she strongly encourages people to only breed with the goal of producing a better race horse that actually has value. She talks about the problem in the horse industry of over producing horses that have no value.

Keywords: Broodmares; Challenges; Commericial breeding; Dean, Donald; Gelding; Turf horses; Values

Subjects: Claiming races; Genetics; Horse breeders; Horse industry; Horse owners; Horse racing; Kentucky Derby; Mares; Race horses.; Thoroughbred horse--Breeding; Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees

01:02:17 - Importance of pedigree and female lines

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Partial Transcript: Now how much attention, um, does the industry pay to pedigrees? Has that changed since you began?

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about the shift in the industry to more of a focus on confirmation and physical attributes over pedigree. She talks about the importance of the female line of the pedigree.

Keywords: A.P. Indy (Race horse); Athleticism; Breeding stock; Broodmares; Challenges; Colts; Commericial breeding; Conformation; Dominance; Female lines; Horse sales; Saratoga sales

Subjects: Alydar (Race horse); Cigar (Race horse); Fillies; Foals; Genetics; Horse buyers; Horse industry; Mares; Race horses.; Seattle Slew (Race horse), 1974-2002.; Stallions--Breeding; Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees

01:09:56 - Public speaking

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Partial Transcript: Let's go back to your, uh, fifteen years in, in Pennsylvania and freelancing. What did you learn from that period?

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about learning to trust her knowledge and gaining confidence through giving pedigree seminars while she was living in Pennsylvania.

Keywords: Confidence; Freelancers; Freelancing; Maryland horse breeders; Nervous

Subjects: Horse breeders; Knowledge; Learning.; Pennsylvania; Public speaking; Self-employed.; Seminars.; Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees

01:12:14 - Thoroughbred heritage and history / Writing / Horse graves

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Partial Transcript: What did you enjoy doing most of all those things, uh, when you were freelancing?

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about her project, TBheritage.com, and her love for writing and exploring the history of the Thoroughbred horse. She also talks about her interest in discovering horse cemeteries and graves.

Keywords: Co-authors; Confirmation; Erigero, Patricia; European horses; Freelancers; Freelancing; Horse graves; Patterns of Greatness; Porter, Alan; Temperaments; Temperments; Thoroughbred Heritage; Writing

Subjects: Books; Burial.; Cemeteries.; Horse breeders; Horse farms; Horse owners; Kentucky; Self-employed.; Stallions; Thoroughbred horse--Breeding--England; Thoroughbred horse--Breeding--History; Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees; Web sites.

01:18:58 - Returning to Three Chimneys Farm

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Partial Transcript: Okay, well, tell me, um, why you came back to Three Chimneys.

Segment Synopsis: Peters tells the story of deciding to move back to Kentucky and getting her old job back at Three Chimneys Farm.

Keywords: Rosenberg, Dan; Three Chimneys Farm

Subjects: Belmont Stakes; Health insurance; Horse breeders; Horse industry; Horse racing--Employees; Kentucky; Kentucky Derby; Preakness Stakes; Race horses.; Smarty Jones (Race horse); Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees

01:22:25 - Job duties

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Partial Transcript: Pedigree consultants or specialists at a farm, is that common for farms to have their own?

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about the current prevalence of pedigree specialists being employed by farms. She also describes her current job duties and the various sorts of requests she gets from mare owners looking to breed.

Keywords: Appraisals; Clients; Horse sales; Juddmonte Farm; Lane's End Farm; Overbrook Farm; Pedigree specialists; Stud fees; Three Chimneys Farm

Subjects: Consultants; Contracts; Email; Foals; Horse breeders; Horse farms; Horse owners; Job; Mares; Smarty Jones (Race horse); Stallions--Breeding; Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees; Valuation; Value

01:27:44 - Breeding for looks over performance / Use of steroids

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Partial Transcript: There are some, uh, challenges facing the industry today with, uh, Eight Belles--

Segment Synopsis: Peters discusses the current controversy surrounding Eight Belles' breakdown and the trends in the breeding industry to produce yearlings for commercial sale with a focus on physical confirmation over athletic performance ability. She also talks about Big Brown and the use of steroids in horse racing.

Keywords: Big Brown (Race horse); Bleeding; Breakdowns; Corrective leg surgeries; Cryptoclearance (Race horse); Danzig (Race horse); Dynaformer (Race horse); Lasix; Medical histories; Medications; Performance horses; Salix; Secretariat (Race horse), 1970-1989.; Sky Mesa (Race horse); Soundness; Three Chimneys Farm; Unbridled's Song (Race horse); Yearlings

Subjects: Barbaro (Race horse); Belmont Stakes; Breeders' Cup Championship Day races; Drugs; Eight Belles (Race horse); Furosemide; Horse breeders; Horse buyers; Horse industry; Horse racing--Records; Horse trainers; Horses--Health; Horses--Surgery.; Horses--Wounds and injuries.; Lameness in horses; Preakness Stakes; Public relations.; Quarter horse.; Race horses.; Saratoga Racecourse (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.); Secretariat (Horse), 1970-1989.; Stallions--Breeding; Steroids; Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association; Thoroughbred horse--Breeding; Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees

01:44:15 - Bloodlines, confirmation, and genetics

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Partial Transcript: Uh, kind of take you back just a little bit, as you, uh, looking at all the matings that you've helped achieve, uh, is there any outcome that you're most proud of, any particular horse that came from a mating you recommended or were involved with?

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about a filly that she is particularly proud of setting up the breeding for and then goes on to talk about the line of that filly ending up producing "crooked leg" foals, which she is now trying to breed out because the bloodlines are so good.

Keywords: Bloodlines; Broodmares; Conformation; Dynaformer (Race horse); Eclipse Award; Genetics; Gorgeous (Race horse); Kamar (Race horse); Slew o' Gold (Race horse); Yes It's True (Race horse)

Subjects: Fillies; Horse breeders; Mares; Race horses.; Stallions; Thoroughbred horse--Breeding; Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees

01:49:56 - Stallion prospects / Inbreeding

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Partial Transcript: So now that you're back at, uh, Three Chimneys, are, are you involved in helping make the decision about what stallions do come here?

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about selecting stallions to stand at Three Chimneys Farm. She talks about the success of breeding horses with strong inbred bloodlines who have also been successful race horses. Also, she discusses breeding horses with great bloodlines and race performances but also small physical problems.

Keywords: A.P. Indy (Race horse); Big Brown (Race horse); Bloodlines; Boundary (Race horse); Breeding stock; Broodmares; Hoof problems; Line breeding; Prospects; Secretariat (Race horse), 1970-1989.; Three Chimneys Farm

Subjects: Bold Ruler (Race horse); Horses--Health.; Inbreeding.; Mares; Nijinsky (Race horse); Northern Dancer (Race horse); Race horses.; Seattle Slew (Race horse), 1974-2002.; Secretariat (Horse), 1970-1989.; Stallions; Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees

01:56:32 - Nickname, "The pedigree goddess" / Breeding theories

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Partial Transcript: How did you get the nickname Pedigree Goddess?

Segment Synopsis: Peters explains where her nickname, the Pedigree Goddess, came from. She also talks about how she feels regarding several theories common in the breeding industry, and different ratings and scores that are available for pairings.

Keywords: Breeder's Digest; Colts; Discussion groups; Dosage index; International reputations; Nicking Theory; Nicks; Numbers; Pedigree goddess; Thoroughbred breeding theories; Websites

Subjects: Fillies; Genetics; Horse breeders; Nicknames; Race horses.; Stallions--Breeding; Thoroughbred horse--Pedigrees

02:01:31 - Being a female in the Thoroughbred breeding industry

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Partial Transcript: Um, I'm going to ask you this before I, uh, forget it, um, have--has the fact that you are female ever impacted your work?

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about the challenges of being a female in her line of work, specifically with people just not wanting to listen to her and having to work much harder to prove herself.

Keywords: Age; Discrimination; Hatfield, Sandy; Pedigree advisors; Pedigree consultants; Statistics; Three Chimneys Farm

Subjects: Gender; Horse breeders; Horse industry; Kentucky; Women in horse sports

02:05:28 - Personal future

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Partial Transcript: So where do you see yourself ten years from now?

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about hoping in ten years from now that she is still doing the same work and perhaps doing more writing.

Keywords: Big Brown (Race horse); Broodmares; Futures; Jobs; Magazines; The Blood-horse; Three Chimneys Farm; Websites; Writing

Subjects: Smarty Jones (Race horse)

02:06:46 - Future of the Thoroughbred breeding industry

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Partial Transcript: Well, okay, what about the business itself, particularly from the breeding perspective, what do you think the challenges are that, that the industry needs to deal with?

Segment Synopsis: Peters talks about the need for change and encouraging transparency in terms of knowing what horses have had surgeries and are on medications, and treating race horses as an actual animal with a story and history and not just a number to bet on.

Keywords: Changes; Future; Public interest

Subjects: Doping in horse racing; Eight Belles (Race horse); Horse breeding; Horse industry; Horse racing--Betting; Horses--Surgery.; Race horses.