The Tale of Good News Friday

by | 02.28.2014 | 12:32pm
Father Chris Clay, inspiration for Good News Friday

Five years ago I ran into a former colleague from Blood-Horse Publications who had found a calling in life that was higher than the study of pedigrees, racing results and Thoroughbred auction trends.

Catesby “Chris” Clay Jr., whose family has owned and operated Runnymede Farm in Paris, Ky., since 1867, left the world of Thoroughbred racing and breeding journalism for a life dedicated to helping others. He became an ordained Catholic priest in 2007, five years after leaving his position as editor of the TBH MarketWatch newsletter.

Good Friday was approaching and, though not a member of the Catholic Church, I attended a daily Mass and listened to Father Chris deliver a powerful homily. We talked afterwards, catching up on family and personal matters and promised to stay in touch with one another.

I was so inspired by his career transition and the work he was doing for his fellow man that I wanted to share the good news of Father Chris Clay with our readers. Thus, on April 10, 2009, Good News Friday was born, and for nearly five years has been a weekly staple of the Paulick Report. We've introduced to our readers hundreds of individuals and organizations doing great things, whether it's for charity, or to benefit people, horses, or the industry that we all love.

From the beginning, we were encouraged to continue this mission of focusing on positive news, first by Rob Whiteley, whose Liberation Farm sponsored Good News Friday, then by Three Chimneys, who carried the sponsorship mantle for several years. Their support and encouragement is appreciated more than they know, not just by me, but by readers throughout the Thoroughbred world who could use a little positive news to brighten their week. It's allowed us to get to know some very special people and convey the fact that news isn't always bad.

Just as Father Chris has helped me and countless others get through personal or family crises, I'd like to think Good News Friday has provided some therapeutic value by spotlighting, as Rob Whiteley might say, people who are making the world a better place.

But everyone needs a little freshener now and then, so after more than 250 consecutive weeks of bringing positive stories to our readers, we're giving Good News Friday a little time off. We'll be back soon enough.

  • Father Chris, how nice to see a photo associated with the racing industry that isn’t a mug shot!

    God bless you, and may you continue to be able to fulfill your destiny, which, by all accounts
    is going to be a memorable one.

  • Knowitall

    Three Chimneys needs some better news?

  • Les Instone

    Nice to be reminded about Father Chris. He was great to work with and I commend him on his choice in this life. We’ve run into each other a couple of times and he is truly one of the most personable young men I’ve come to know.

  • Kcollinsworth

    Thanks for running this uplifting segment for five great years. I hope you find a sponsor for Good News Friday, so it can return soon.

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  • Dan Jividen

    Down the years and decades Runnymede Farm has bred some real champions (Hanover, Ben Brush, Miss Woodford, Roamer) but none so champion as Father Chris Clay. His faith journey should be an inspiration to us all. He is now pastor at Saint Paul’s on W. Short Street in Lexington. May he and his church thrive.

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