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Joe Kroll dies at age 61

August 11, 2019

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Joe Kroll, one of the highly respected and likable horseman in harness racing, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 8. He was 61.

Born in Pittsburgh, PA., on Nov. 17, 1957, Mr. Kroll had a long and storied career in harness racing since moving to Florida with his wife, Shawna, in 1983.

While he did have success with Florida Stakes winners, including Indigo Swirl, J S Victory and Goucher, Mr. Kroll played a huge roll in the success of big name stables and trainers such as Continental Farms and Team Nordin.

His first notable success was with the world champion Tarport Frenzy, which solidified his reputation as a dedicated trainer with patience, passion and gentle hand that calmed even those horses that could be difficult to train.

After his horse, Indigo Swirl, won a Florida Sunshine Stakes event in 2007, he was asked if he felt winning the major share of a lucrative event like that was like winning the lottery.

In his typical and humble style, he said, “I won the lottery the day I met my wife!”

Mr. Kroll spent the last eight years working with Jim McDonald with that trainer paying homage by lamenting, “Time might be important on the racetrack but, around the barn, time was never important to Joe. In other words, he worked until he was satisfied that every horse in his care was satisfied to his high standards.

“A typical example of that was, over the past two winters, he played a big role in the care and training of the great McWicked, last year’s Horse of the Year.

He, truly, was one of the great ambassadors of harness racing and contributed to the success of many great horses and horsemen.

Besides his wife, Shawna, survivors include his sister, Susan Sichko (Frank), his brother, Mike (Denise), nieces and nephews.

A memorial will be held at a later date.

Anyone wishing to help defray medical costs can do so through Zelle using phone number (561) 577-4596. (FSBOA)


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