Bill Napier, the longtime executive secretary of the Kentucky Harness Horsemen's Association (KHHA), died late Friday afternoon, March 19, at Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington after a battle with cancer. He was 63.
Mr. Napier was a veteran Lexington police detective when he became involved in harness racing in the early 1970s, purchasing horses with friend and fellow detective Bob Duncan. He trained and drove and later became involved in the KHHA. He was a KHHA officer before becoming executive secretary, and served the organization for the past 20 years. His work on behalf of Kentucky horsemen included contract negotiations, lobbying legislators, organizing and running racing at the state's county fairs, and in later years, also as a starter at The Red Mile and Thunder Ridge.
Mr. Napier is survived by his wife, Janet; three sons Tim (Kristie) Napier, Brian Napier and Chris (Rhonda) Napier; his mother, Ella Marie Maddox; a sister, Fawn Reed, a brother, Robert "Rusty" Burns; and grandchildren, MacKenzie, Reagan, Dalton, Luke, Aaron, Emma and Annie.
Visitation is scheduled for Tuesday, March 23, from 4-8 p.m at Clark Legacy Center, 601 E. Brannon Rd., Nicholasville, Ky.
The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, March 24, at 11 a.m. More information can be found at www.clarklegacycenter.com.