African American News and Genealogy

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

'Sally Hemings' ruled out as horse's name

POTENTIAL TO OFFEND IS CITED; OWNER FILES SUITBy Janet PattonHERALD-LEADER BUSINESS WRITER When history buff Garrett Redmond bought a filly out of the Colonial Affair mare Jefferson's Secret, he thought he had the perfect name: Sally Hemings. Hemings was a slave of President Thomas Jefferson and might have been his mistress. Although the exact nature of their connection is in dispute, Hemings and Jefferson are thought by some historians to have had a decades-long relationship and at least one child -- and possibly more -- together. "To name a horse after someone is an honor," said Redmond, owner of Ballycapple, a farm in Paris. "I have a horse here named after my wife." But The Jockey Club, which regulates the naming of all thoroughbred racehorses, didn't see it that way. The arbiters of equine taste have refused to allow the name. Redmond filed suit in U.S. District Court in Lexington on Thursday to force The Jockey Club to let him use it and to allow the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to let him race the 2-year-old filly under that name. Alan Marzelli, president of The Jockey Club, wouldn't comment on the suit, except to say "it is clearly laid out in black and white in the papers that you have. There is nothing more I could add to that that would make it any clearer how we feel about this name." Source:


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