Betsy Buchanan Fishback, former University of Kentucky riding team coach, died Jan. 17 after a battle with breast cancer. She was 58.
Mrs. Fishback was born in Valley Forge, Pa., and graduated from The Shipley School (Pa.) and Sweet Briar College (Va.), where she was president of the riding council.
In 1979 she started the equine program at Midway College (Ky.) with Anne Bozarth. She also taught riding at her family farm, Trackside, until she retired to help her daughters in their equestrian careers.
Mrs. Fishback’s interests also included the preservation of land and hunter/jumper horse shows. She served as a board member and District Commissioner of the Keeneland Pony Club (Ky.), a board member for Masterson Equestrian Trust Foundation, a board member and at one time the director of the Kentucky Hunter Jumper Association, and the director of community relations for the Kentucky Horse Shows held at the Kentucky Horse Park.
In recent years, Mrs. Fishback was heavily involved with the creation of SPEAKS, “Supporting and Promoting Equine Awareness in Kentucky’s Schools,” and Puissance Alliance, which helps to promote horses and the hunter/jumper show horse industry in Kentucky, particularly at the Kentucky Horse Park.
In 2005 she received the Lynn Williams Award at the ASPCA Midwest Regionals and in 2006 the Edna Lytle Trophy at the USEF Pony Finals (Ky.).
Mrs. Fishback is survived by her husband, William Davis Fishback Jr.; daughters Leslie Fishback Cutchins and Sarah Davis Fishback; her mother Kathleen Kern Buchanan; sisters Kathleen “Winkie” Buchanan Motley and Deborah Ann Buchanan; one niece; and two grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, P.O. Box 13155, Lexington, KY 40511 or the Markey Cancer Foundation, 800 Rose Street, CC160, Lexington, KY 40536.