The Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club (KTFMC) has chosen Shawhan Place's Matthew Koch as the 2022 Ted Bates Farm Manager of the Year. The honor is given annually to a farm manager “who has demonstrated quality and success in their management role; service to the community; involvement in the KTFMC; and industry leadership and dedication.”
“I am thrilled to hear Matthew has won this prestigious award,” said Teddy Kuster, co-owner of Shawhan Place and the 1986 KTFMC Farm Manager of the Year. “The club has meant a lot to Matt's entire family and all of us at Shawhan Place. Matt is a wonderful individual who wears many hats. He's a farm manager working in the trenches and has given back to his community by serving on several boards. He serves as State Representative for 72nd District (Bourbon, Nicholas, and Fleming County) and was instrumental in passing HHR for the industry… Even more important than raising horses, Matthew raises the next generation of young horsemen and women. He is a mentor to many and regularly hosts interns from both KEMI and the University of Kentucky.”
A graduate of both the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Horseshoeing School, Koch is also a former United States Marine captain and served his country in Afghanistan and Kosovo. In 2006, Koch and Kuster formed Shawhan Place, which now breeds about 100 mares a year.
Among the boards Koch has served on are Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI), the Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association (CBA), and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA). He has previously been the president, vice-president, director, and treasurer of the KTFMC.
Koch is a second-generation KTFMC Farm Manager of the Year, as his late father, Gus Koch, was awarded the title in 2004. The pair join B.G. Hughes and Scooter Hughes as the only father/son recipients of the award. Koch currently resides in Bourbon County with his wife, Kristen, and their three children Taylor, Jack, and Nate.
The KTFMC will be hosting its annual dinner dance to honor Koch at The Carrick House in Lexington Dec. 2. A silent auction will be held with all proceeds benefitting The Horse Farm Workers' Educational Assistance Fund. Tickets and sponsorships for the event will be available for purchase at ktfmc.org later this month.