Editorial: Cot Campbell, an Aiken pillar, gets deserved honor
When we heard the news that Aiken resident Cothran “Cot” Campbell will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing in August it was not a big surprise. But nonetheless, the recognition is much deserved.
Campbell will be recognized in the museum in the Pillars of the Turf category where he will join this year’s class with the likes of August Belmont, the New York racing icon, and Penny Chenery, owner of the great Secretariat, along with nine others.
“I’m thrilled,” he said this week. “Golly, I’m flabbergasted and thrilled.”
He can say that, the others who will be inducted cannot. They have all passed.
Campbell is certainly a pillar of the turf, but it should be said that this is the second such honor. He’s already been a pillar of the community of Aiken for some time now, and we are fortunate to have him here.
He’s been an anchor as the owner of Dogwood Stable since he came to Aiken in the 1980s; we see him at just about every horse event around town, a very well-respected man who has even had a horse named after him. And like Campbell, the equine is a winner, too, with a victory in a South Africa race.
In 2013, the Dogwood Stable horse Palace Malice won the Belmont Stakes, the race named after August Belmont, with whom Campbell will be inducted.
“Racing has been so kind to me,” Campbell said.
But at 90 years young, Campbell is not slowing down. Just last month he and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners teamed up to purchase a 2-year-old colt at the Ocala Breeders Sale. The Green and Gold colors of Dogwood Stable will race once again.
In January, Campbell was honored with The Aiken Award by Mayor Rick Osbon; Campbell is the face of the Breakfast at the Gallops event in March, and the list goes on.
Campbell has authored articles, too. His “Postcard from Aiken” was printed in Bloodhorse magazine. It takes a look at the history of Aiken, and Campbell has always applauded our town for our value and charm.
Now is the time to applaud Campbell for his value and charm – a pillar of Aiken.