Herbert K. Stevens, a World War II veteran who became a prominent Central Kentucky Thoroughbred trainer, died Saturday. He was 96.
Mr. Stevens, of Versailles, trained Rockhill Native, a gelding that won the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland in 1979. Rockhill Native won 10 out of 17 races and earned $465,122, according to a 2009 article by The Blood-Horse magazine. The horse was heavily favored to win the 1980 Kentucky Derby but finished fifth after weakening in the stretch, the article said.
Mr. Stevens was a horseman even during a stint in the Army; he was involved with the U.S. military's last horse cavalry unit, according to an obituary compiled by Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home.
He was drafted during World War II while studying to become a veterinarian at the University of Kentucky, the obituary said. He earned a Silver Star and a Bronze Star for his service.
After returning from the war, Mr. Stevens operated Haven Hill Farm for more than 40 years, raising cattle and growing tobacco as well as owning and training Thoroughbreds.
Survivors include his wife, Lady Louise Stevens; a daughter, Patricia Stevens Williams; and a son, Michael K. Stevens.
Visitation will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home, Versailles. A service will follow at Versailles Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested to Old Friends, a Georgetown facility for retired racehorses, or the Jockeys' Guild.
Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.