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More on The Life of Dr. Gene Scott



There have been many colorful characters in the Saddlebred industry over the years, but none possibly as colorful as Dr. Gene Scott. Described by one of his longtime associates, Rosemont Manor trainer John T. Jones, as an enigma, Dr. Scott was an imposing figure who sent powerful, yet unorthodox messages, around the world through his television broadcasts.

Dr. Scott died Feb. 21 as the result of a stroke. The cigar smoking pastor of the Los Angeles University Cathedral was 75.

It was reported that his Protestant congregation of more than 15,000 members raised millions of dollars, mostly through satellite television broadcasts. On those broadcasts Dr. Scott employed many different methods to entice viewers to donate money. Sometimes he would preach. Sometimes he would demand they send money. Sometimes he would sing - one of his quirky songs being a tune called "Killing Piss Ants For Jesus." Other times he would just sit there puffing his cigar and letting viewers know he wasn’t going to say anything until the phones started ringing and a certain amount of money was raised.

While Dr. Scott lived a lavish life style he was also very charitable. An Associated Press story noted that he had organized a telethon and raised $2 million for the Los Angeles Central Library. Just a few years ago he gave $20,000 to save the Museum in Black, a museum which housed some 5,000 items from the slave and civil rights eras.

Dr. Scott was also very generous when it came to the horse business.

"He underwrote a lot of shows on the west coast when he was in the business," said John T. Jones who showed several champions for Dr. Scott and eventually bought The King Of Highpoint from him. "He did a lot of things people didn’t know about. He was also fond of helping a horse trainer."

Dr. Scott got into the horse business when his then associate Christine Shaw had a jumper and at the same barn Kathy Kapsuto had an American Saddlebred. They were taken by the beauty of the American Saddlebred and wanted to learn more.

One of Dr. Scott's earliest contacts was John Fry who sold him Silver Oaks Ranch in Bradbury, Calif. One of his first acquisitions was the young gaited horse Ready Kilowatt, purchased from Larry Hodge.

"We sold Dr. Scott Ready Kilowatt and I took him out to California and won the Junior Five-Gaited Stake at Del Mar and from there we just clicked," said Hodge. "Dr. Scott was also an artist and he enjoyed the regal look of a Saddlebred. He loved the beauty and the excitement. I guess I sold him 100 horses during his time in the business."

Next was the great gaited mare CH Callaway’s Caper. The magnificent fine harness stallion Sultan’s Legal Contract anchored the show string in the early days. With the purchase of Sultan's Legal Contract, Dr. Scott also became interested in the breeding business and soon bought Highpoint Farm in Springfield, Ky., from Hodge. The stallion's name was changed to The King Of Highpoint and soon his get were dominating futurity classes from coast to coast. Under the direction of Joe T. Smith and David Mountjoy, they would often win every ribbon in a class. As a result, The King Of Highpoint was the number one Futurity Sire for several years under Dr. Scott’s ownership.

He surrounded himself with many top trainers and top horses. Dr. Scott not only loved going to the horse shows, he loved broadcasting his horses and horse shows to millions of viewers around the world. When he went to horse shows many times he was accompanied by his television crew.

Some of the trainers who worked and/or showed for Dr. Scott in addition to Fry, Jones, and Hodge were Dale Pugh, Jack Nevitt, Carter Ragsdale, Phil Godsey, Liz and Mike Martin, Roy Tuttle, and Bill Robinson. Joining Ready Kilowatt, The King Of Highpoint and Callaway’s Caper were show stars like CH Callaway’s Hot Copy, CH The Missouri Stud, Yorktown Pudding, Ultimatum, Coco G.S. (the dam of Coco Loco), and the great road horse TNT to name just a very few.

"I remember one time at Del Mar we [Silver Oaks Ranch] had four junior gaited colts showing in one class," said Phil Godsey. "Rich Robertson was judging and he put me and Mr. Pugh back out on the rail for a workout. My horse ran out of gas and Mr. Pugh won, but it was one of the highlights I"ll never forget, just being on a workout with one of the greats."

"Dr. Scott was truly in love with the American Saddlebred; loved showing, and loved to be around horse trainers," said Jones. "He enjoyed being at the barn, talking to trainers and being one of the guys. A lot of people didn’t know him and know how to take him, but I can tell you this was one of his favorite things to do."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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