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Horseman Donnie Conrad dies at 66

October 26, 2014
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Donald E. "Donnie” Conrad, 66, of Corydon, Ind., died Oct. 25, 2014, at University of Louisville Hospital.
 
He was born March 11, 1948, in Corydon, to Charles E. Conrad and the late Bernice Barksdale Conrad. He was an owner, trainer, driver, and breeder of Standardbreds, as well as a former member of the board of directors of the Kentucky Harness Horsemen's Association. He was a member of the United States Trotting Association and Indiana Standardbred Association, of which he was also a multiple term board member. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard.
 
Mr. Conrad spent a lifetime in the harness racing industry. Although he mainly competed in Indiana and Kentucky, he raced successfully at tracks throughout the country. Over the years, horses from the Conrad Stable could be found winning at venues from county fairs to major stakes at the pari-mutuel racetracks.

Beginning his driving career in 1977, he drove his last race in 2001. During those years, he won 856 races and amassed $1,865,497 in earnings, before giving up driving when his son Charlie began his own driving career.

One of Mr. Conrad's most notable mounts, who last raced in 1984, was the good trotter Cambro Pride. The gelding won $104,124, which, by today's standards, would have been three to four times that amount. On the training side, he sent horses earning $765,603 to the track.

In more recent years, Mr. Conrad turned the racing stable duties over to his children and grandchildren. Once hehad given the horses their early lessons at the farm, they were sent to the racetrack with his youngest son, Charlie. The team campaigned horses like Big Boy Josh 4,1:54.4 ($449,246), Dirk Almahurst p,1:53.3 ($273,254), She's Country 3,1:57.3 ($152,492), Speak p,1:51.3 ($232,529), and Super Rock 4,1:54.2 ($235,448), who is still racing for the Conrad Stable.

Hewas also a family man who loved his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed attending their sporting events and, of course, teaching them the art of Conrad horsemanship. Some of his best times over the last few years were spent with his grandchildren on the family farm. He also enjoyed sharing ownership of horses with his grandson, Carson.

Mr. Conrad is survived by his wife, Roselea Cannon Conrad; father, Charles; sons, Charlie (Sarah) and Chris; brother, Ronnie (Rita); and his grandchildren, Carson, Carder, Elizabeth and ChrisJr. He was preceded in death by his mother; and his grandparents, Elmer and Edna.

Visitation will be from 2–8 p.m. on Monday (Oct. 27) at Beanblossom-Cesar Funeral Home in Corydon.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like to have memorial contributions made to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, 3293 Wright Road, Laura, OH 45337. For more information, please call 937.947.4020 or visit http://www.horseadoption.com/. (By Stacey Ruddick/Hoosier Hoofprints)

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