Celebration of Life
Annice Belknap Johnston
Annice Belknap Johnston, 71, passed away peacefully at her beloved home on Land O’Goshen Farm in Goshen, Kentucky, on Feb. 22, 2019. She was the granddaughter of William Burke Belknap, the grandson of the founder of Belknap Hardware and Manufacturing, which began on the shores of the Ohio River in 1840 and became one of the South’s great industrial companies. Annice was the daughter of Helen Strong Belknap Tupper, also born in Louisville, and Leslie Digges Joynes of Asheville, North Carolina. Annice grew up in Santa Barbara, California, went to the Marymount and Holton-Arms schools in Washington, D.C., and Bennett College in Millbrook, New York. Having spent summers and many holidays in Goshen, she moved permanently to Louisville in 1972.
A life-long horsewoman, Annice competed on the Saddlebred circuit as a young girl and went on to become actively involved in multiple equine disciplines including Thoroughbred racing, polo, steeplechase, endurance riding and fox hunting. She was particularly active in the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry, successfully creating, building and managing an equine business focusing on caring for Thoroughbred mares-in-foal and horses on lay-up recovering from injuries during their racing careers. Horses benefiting from Annice’s care raced throughout the U.S. in many major stakes races. Of particular recent note, Hansen, the winner of the 2011 Breeders Cup Juvenile, was foaled at Annice’s Land O’Goshen Farm.
In addition to an early career as a corporate and luxury travel planner, Annice made many contributions to civic life in Louisville and Oldham County. For the last 24 years, she was a board member of the Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve, a member of the Long Run Woodford Hounds and held board positions or was an active volunteer with the Oldham County Library, Hardscuffle and Oxmoor Steeplechases, Louisville Polo, Speed Art Museum and Yew Dell Botanical Gardens among others.
Annice was a voracious reader and believed in the power of literacy. She worked tirelessly volunteering to teach teens and adults to read; she actively tutored reading for more than 30 years. Her efforts also extended to educating young people and those new to the area about the importance of sustainability and life on a farm. She worked to help ensure successful re-entry to civilian life for those who had been incarcerated by providing employment and educational opportunities.
Animals, gardening, the sporting life and entertaining were Annice’s passions. An accomplished cook, baker and hostess, Annice was well known for graciously welcoming local, regional and international guests at her signature parties, including her popular Derby Eve fêtes, Christmas celebrations and game dinners. Her baked goods consistently won prizes at the Kentucky State Fair. She cared for her horses, Labrador Retrievers, Corgis and an assortment of rescue dogs with great devotion. A professed anglophile, Annice loved to travel, often visiting friends throughout the country, and she relished in discovering new places around the world.
Recognized for her quick wit, keen cultural observations, tremendous sense of humor, loyalty, kindness and generosity of spirit, Annice will be deeply missed by her many friends and family members.
Annice is survived by her brothers, Daniel Carroll Joynes (Abby McCormick O’Neil) of Chicago, Illinois, and Leslie D. Joynes Jr. (Kozue Watanabe) of New York, New York; her niece, Elizabeth Joynes Jordan (Darren Jordan) in Brooklyn, New York; and nephew, Conor McCormick O’Neil in Los Angeles, California. A celebration of her life will be held this summer in Goshen, Kentucky.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Annice’s name may be made to the Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve (creaseymahannaturepreserve.org), Second Stride (secondstride.org) or a deserving animal rescue organization.
Ratterman & Sons, 3800 Bardstown Road, has been entrusted with the arrangements.