Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) is pleased to announce that Greg Goodman, owner of Mt. Brilliant Farm in Lexington, Ky., was recognized as the recipient of the 2023 Robert N. Clay Conservation Award during the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) National Awards Dinner on September 9 in Lexington, Ky.
The award, established in 2014 as a partnership between TOBA and ELCR to help increase awareness of the importance of land conservation to the Thoroughbred industry and to serve as an inspiration to others within the industry, is sponsored by ELCR and presented annually at the TOBA National Awards dinner.
Born and raised in Houston, Greg immediately recognized the iconic beauty and quality of life Lexington offered when he moved here and was determined to help create an organization with a daily mission to grow Lexington while maintaining the rural character of the community and promoting the area farms.
In 2006, Greg became a co-founder of the Lexington, Ky.-based land-advocacy organization Fayette Alliance with others from the equine, agricultural, and neighborhood communities. Greg currently serves as co-chair of Fayette Alliance, remaining actively involved in the organization’s efforts since its inception.
Fayette Alliance is dedicated to smart, sustainable, and equitable growth in Lexington-Fayette County through land-use advocacy, education, and research. Fayette Alliance’s vision is to connect the vibrant city of Lexington with the productive and beautiful Bluegrass farmland of Fayette County. To achieve this goal, the organization advocates at city hall with local decision-makers, educates the community through free programming, and commissions objective and independent research to support its advocacy and educational efforts, to ensure their work is always data driven.
Goodman said his initial involvement sprouted from opposition to a development project years ago when he recalls a pro-development city leader told him the farms only showed up at city hall when they had a specific issue of interest.
“I remember telling him, ‘Be careful what you wish for,’” Goodman said, as Fayette Alliance would then be formed to provide that consistent representation. “I’ve always loved the land. My first love is the horses, but the land is second. There’s a finite number of these farms, of these soils. And once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.”
Goodman said the Alliance has helped educate lawmakers on how important horse farms, and agriculture in general, is to the Lexington area in terms of the economy, tax revenue, jobs, and tourism. He said it often makes more sense, strictly from an economic standpoint, to retain farms over development.
“Greg’s leadership and steadfast dedication to smart, responsible growth and protecting and promoting the farmland that supports Fayette County’s economy and identity have been absolutely critical in Fayette Alliance’s success over the last 17 years,” the alliance said in a statement. “The Lexington-Fayette County community, and our team at Fayette Alliance, are incredibly fortunate to have Greg and his family. They have committed both time and treasure to seeing our community thrive.”
“Greg Goodman’s leadership and long-term commitment to managed growth and preserving the iconic beauty of Lexington’s Bluegrass region through the establishment of the Fayette Alliance serves as an impressive example for not only the Thoroughbred community but our equine community at large,” said ELCR President Ken Haddad. “The impact of an organization like Fayette Alliance goes far beyond the local community, as it serves as example and model for other communities across the country working to balance growth while maintaining a rural feel and protecting equine access to land for the benefit of this and future generations.”
Since the founding of Fayette Alliance, Greg also has been hosting the Bluegrass International Cup at his 1,400-acre Mt. Brilliant Farm in Lexington to raise funds for Fayette Alliance and the UK Markey Cancer Foundation.
About Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR): ELCR builds awareness of the loss of lands available for horse-related activities and facilitates the protection and conservation of those lands, working to ensure America’s equine heritage lives on and the emotional, physical, and economic benefits of the horse-human relationship remain accessible. ELCR serves as an information resource and clearinghouse on conserving horse properties, land-use planning, land stewardship/best management practices, trails, liability, and equine economic impact. For more information about ELCR, visit www.elcr.org or call (859) 455-8383.
About the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA): based in Lexington, Ky., TOBA was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of leading Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA’s mission is to improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, Claiming Crown, Ownership Seminars, Breeding, Conformation & Pedigree Clinics, US-Bred, TOBA Owners Concierge, OwnerView and the Sales Integrity Program. TOBA provides international representation for U.S. owners and breeders on the International Grading and Race Planning Advisory Committee, International Cataloguing Standards Committee and International Thoroughbred Breeders Federation. Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) is the charitable arm of TOBA. TOBA Media Properties, a subsidiary of TOBA, is the co-owner of BloodHorse LLC. TOBA is represented on the board of directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium as founding members.
Editor’s note: Photo available upon request