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Kentucky horseman H.T. Jerrell dies at 87

November 03, 2019
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Hugh Thomas “H.T.” Jerrell, age 87, of Kevil, Ky., passed away at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, at his residence.

Born on Oct. 4, 1932, and known by most as H.T., Mr. Jerrell spent most of his adult life owning, training and racing Standardbred racehorses. He started training and racing in the early 1950s and had several outstanding trotters and pacers during the 1960s and ’70s. His most notable racing star was the diagonal gaited Nodean, 4, 2:01.3h. $352,870. 

He and his wife Betty’s most beloved harness horse was Melody Sheraton, 2:05 $29,490. Jerrell also stood Arovan 3, 2:07 $5,085 at his farm in Kevil, Ky., where his son, Randy Jerrell, currently stables and trains. Many Arovan offspring raced through the Kentucky fair program, moving on to the pari-mutual tracks after their fair career including his most successful Arolana p,8, 1:59.1 $97,648

Jerrell was one of the founding board members of the Kentucky Harness Horsemen’s Association in the early 1970s. Much of his career was spent racing at Kentucky tracks Louisville Downs, Audubon Raceway, The Red Mile and the Kentucky Fair Stakes program. He also raced at Fairmount Park and Cahokia Downs in Illinois. 

He was also a skilled, self-taught carpenter and enjoyed woodworking, remodeling homes and built his and Betty’s home and along with both his brother’s and children’s homes. In retirement years, he and Betty enjoyed outdoor life by boating, fishing and time spent at Kentucky Lake.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Betty L. Shelby Jerrell of Kevil; one daughter, Joni Jordan of Kevil; one son, Randal Lee Jerrell, wife Paula of Kevil; one brother, Donald Lee Jerrell, wife Hazel of Kevil; two grandchildren, Jeremy Mark Jordan, wife Ashlee of Kevil and Clayton Wayne Jerrell, fiancé Carli of Newburgh, Indiana; three great-grandchildren, Nash Thomas Jordan, Savannah Henderson and Emma Henderson.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur Thomas and Sarah Marshall Jerrell, and son-in-law, Mark Edward Jordan. 

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4, at Woodville Cemetery with Rev. Brian K Nance officiating. 

Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Monday at Milner & Orr Funeral Home of Paducah.

Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to the church where he was a member, New Liberty United Methodist Church, C/O Joni Jordan, Treasurer, 3545 Hobbs Rd., Kevil, Ky. 42053. 

You may light a candle or leave a message for the family at www.milnerandorr.com.

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