It is with a heavy heart that the Board of the American Saddlebred Horse Association announces the passing of a true legend, Redd Crabtree, 79. Crabtree brought an enormous amount of integrity and fairness to everything he did, including his service to the ASHA and the United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA).
A 1993 inductee into the World’s Championship Horse Show Hall of Fame and a 1994 member of the Tom Moore UPHA Hall of Fame, as well as the 2010 ASHA Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Crabtree was honored just last March with induction into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, and he was the first show horse trainer to be recognized for the award.
Crabtree has either personally won or been the trainer of winners of every five-gaited class offered at the World’s Championship Horse Show, including three times as the winner of the Five-Gaited World’s Grand Championship with CH Will Shriver in 1976, CH Cora’s Time in 1978 and (SA) Zovoorbij Commander In Chief in 1997. He has also won the Five-Gaited Stallion World’s Championship a record nine times with six different horses: Chief Of Greystone (twice), CH Will Shriver (three times), Callaway’s Wish Me Will, Callaway’s Gold Rush, (SA) Zovoorbij Commander In Chief, and Callaway’s Bluesman.
In addition to training and showing hundreds of World’s Champions, Crabtree also followed the footsteps of his Hall of Fame parents, Charles and Helen Crabtree, as a breeder of World’s Champions. A few of his notables are the great five-gaited horse CH Swish and the twice World’s Champion Supreme Heir, who went on to be one of the top sires in history.
“There have been a lot of extremely talented horsemen in our breed, but few have possessed the qualities that Redd brought to the table,” said incoming ASHA President Bob Funkhouser. “He was not only a leader in the training barn and show ring, he also served as a statesman for our industry and a mentor and friend to many. He was a man of great conviction and wasn’t afraid to fight or speak for what he believed was right.”
“It is a very sad day in our American Saddlebred Association office. We are not only experiencing the passing of a great Hall of Fame World’s Grand Champion, but a great contributor to our association and industry. His wisdom and thoughtfulness will live forever. Great champions seem to always possess a significance in our lives, I find it ironic that these greatest of the great seem to leave us at the same time in their passing. Redd Crabtree, January 19, 2015, and CH Wing Commander, January 19, 1969. Our heartfelt thoughts are with Nancy, Casey, and Sabra,” reflected ASHA Executive Director, Bill Whitley.
Crabtree is survived by his wife Nancy and children Casey, Susan and Ann.