William Stamps Farish III

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William Stamps Farish III
Ambassador Farish.jpg
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
In office
July 12, 2001 – July 10, 2004
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byPhilip Lader
Succeeded byRobert H. Tuttle
Personal details
Born (1939-03-17) March 17, 1939 (age 80)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Sarah Sharp
RelationsWilliam Farish II (grandfather)
Martha F. Gerry (aunt)
Children4, including William
ParentsWilliam Stamps Farish Jr.
EducationSt. John's School, Houston, Texas
Alma materUniversity of Virginia

William Stamps Farish III (born March 17, 1939, in Houston, Texas) is an American businessman and a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2001 until 2004.[1]

Family and early life[edit]

His father, William Stamps Farish Jr., was killed in an airplane accident during World War II. He is the grandson of William Stamps Farish II, who was President of Standard Oil from 1937 to 1942.[2] He grew up in Houston, where he attended St. John's School. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia.


He began his career as a stockbroker at Underwood, Neuhaus and Company in Houston.[citation needed] He later served as President of Navarro Exploration Company. Farish was also a founding Director of Eurus, Inc., a bank holding company in New York as well as of Capital National Bank in Houston.[3] Farish owns W.S. Farish & Co., a trust company based in Houston. In 2003, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Kentucky. He has served on the Board of Directors of Vaalco Energy Inc..[citation needed]

Lane's End Farm[edit]

A breeder of thoroughbred racehorses, in 1979 Farish bought the 240 acres that had been Bosque Bonita Farm near Lexington, Kentucky.[4] Over the years it would be expanded to 1,800-acre (7.3 km2) and renamed Lane's End Farm.[5] A leading breeder of horses that compete around the world, Lane's End Farm hosted Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Lexington. He also owns a home in the horse community of Wellington, Florida.[6]

Lane's End has a secondary 400-acre (1.6 km2) operation near Hempstead, Texas. Farish's operations have bred and/or raced over 225 horses that became stakes winners, both individually and with partners. In 1972, his horse Bee Bee Bee won the Preakness Stakes and his filly Casual Look won a British Classic, the 2003 Epsom Oaks. In 1992, and again in 1999, he received the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder.[7][5][8] Farish has served as chairman of Churchill Downs, home to the Kentucky Derby.[9]

Ambassador to the U.K.[edit]

Farish was nominated by President George W. Bush as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom on March 5, 2001,[10][11] appointed on July 11, 2001, and served until he resigned in early summer 2004.[9][12][3][13]

The United Kingdom newspaper The Guardian commented on his low profile during the period leading up to the Iraq War.[14][15] Christopher Meyer, who was British Ambassador to Washington during Farish's service, said that "as ambassador [Farish] proved as agreeable as he was invisible."[16]

Personal life[edit]

Farish wed Sarah Sharp, a stepdaughter of Bayard Sharp,[17] when Farish was 23 and Sarah as 19.[18] They are the parents of one son, William Stamps Farish IV, and three daughters.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Farish, William S." 2001-2009.state.gov. U.S. Department of State Archives. November 9, 2001. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  2. ^ York, Michael (May 6, 1990). "Bush and Breeder Go Way Back: Profile: Will Farish, who enjoys an extremely close relationship with the President, aims to raise the best racehorses in the world". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "William S. Farish". www.americanambassadors.org. Council of American Ambassadors. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  4. ^ Daily Racing Form, drf.com, June 6, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Bowen, Edward L. (2004). Legacies of the Turf: A Century of Great Thoroughbred Breeders. Eclipse Press. pp. 263–76. ISBN 9781581501179. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  6. ^ Drape, Joe (May 13, 2007). "A Hard Race From Backstretch to White House". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  7. ^ Ehalt, Bob (December 5, 2016). "William S. Farish III: Racing Leader and Ambassador". Americas Best Racing. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  8. ^ Mayhew, Augustus (January 20, 2010). "Boca Grande". New York Social Diary. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Lacey, Marc (February 15, 2001). "President Bush Wants Horse Breeder as Envoy in London". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  10. ^ "NEWS SUMMARY". The New York Times. February 15, 2001. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  11. ^ Lacey, Marc; Bonner, Raymond (March 18, 2001). "A MAD SCRAMBLE FOR PLUM POSTS". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  12. ^ Hoge, Warren (November 21, 2003). "A REGION INFLAMED: THE PRESIDENT; Bush and Blair Say Bombings Fortify Resolve". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  13. ^ Thomson, Alice (September 19, 2001). "'The Queen has been a great friend'". The Telegraph. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  14. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth (November 24, 2003). "White House Letter; In Hour to Shine, an Envoy Instead Shuns the Spotlight". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  15. ^ Moss, Stephen (March 31, 2003). "The invisible ambassador". The Guardian. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  16. ^ Christopher Meyer, D.C. Confidential, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2005
  17. ^ "Social Dinner in Honor of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall Hosted by the President and Mrs. Bush Guest List". georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  18. ^ "Bayard Sharp Was Delaware's Man of Racing". BloodHorse.com. August 11, 2002. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Philip Lader
U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Robert H. Tuttle