Resident: Bethlehem, Ga.
Primary Business: Harrison owned a large poultry processing plant in Georgia
First Horses: Harrison was in his 70s when he bought his first Thoroughbred and he later developed a 172-acre farm with a 24-stall barn in Winder, Ga., just a few miles from Bethlehem. He bought his first Thoroughbreds after his wife expressed an interest in getting a riding horse. Doctors said she had a bad back and recommended she not ride. “I said, ‘Let’s just get in the Thoroughbred business and start breeding,’ ” Harrison recalled
Harrison’s mares are bred to Kentucky stallions and foal at Dixiana Farm near Lexington. He has a small but select broodmare band that produces about 10 foals each year, with most of them pointed for select yearling sales
Divine Intervention: In 1999, Harrison enjoyed what he called “divine intervention” when a Kris S. colt out of Mr. P’s Princess brought $3.9 million from Godolphin at the 1999 Keeneland September yearling sale
$3.9 million was the exact amount he pledged to build a new Methodist Church in Bethlehem. “My hometown has about 400 or 500 people, and we really don’t have anybody with money other than myself,” he said. “I belong to a small Methodist congregation that has been wanting to build a new church. I finally told them to go ahead and build it and I’d pay for it myself.” Construction of the church, Harrison said, should be complete by the end of 2000
Mr. P’s Princess, dam of the $3.9 million Kris S. colt and his half-brother, Fasliyev, was purchased by Harrison for $240,000 in 1993. He sold the mare and her 1999 colt by Nureyev (sire of Fasliyev) to Coolmore privately for $800,000 early last year. Fasliyev was a $450,000 Coolmore purchase at the 1998 Keeneland July sale
”It’s just pure luck,” Harrison said of his financial success as a breeder. “The Lord is just looking after me.”