Longtime Kentucky farrier Errol Bradford died Tuesday after a six-month battle with cancer. He was 69.
Bradford was born in Ohio, but as a young man, he traveled west to work as a cowboy for the TS Ranch in Battle Mountain, Nevada. He was 19 when he joined the International Professional Rodeo Association and for six years competed in bull riding and saddle bronc events. At the end of those six years, Bradford had completed his apprenticeship as a farrier and began a 45-year-long career that would take him to some of the top barns in both Thoroughbred racing and the world of equestrian events.
In the racing industry, Bradford's clientele included Belmont S. (G1) victor Sarava, Grade 1 queen Gorella (Fr), Grape Tree Road [GB]) and multiple Grade 1 hero Harlan's Holiday. He also worked on such United States Equestrian Federation stars as the world-ranked Grand Prix jumper Charmed as well as Enchanted and Renaissance, both Horse of the Year in equestrian disciplines, for the Dillard family.
Bradford is survived by his wife, Sissy; their nine-year-daughter, Cora; and a son and two daughters from a previous marriage. A memorial fund has been established to provide educational assistance to Cora and the family asks in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the fund.
Family and friends will gather for a memorial service at The Barn in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, next Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. (EST). As per his wishes, Bradford's ashes will be scattered at Turfway Park, Keeneland and River Downs. The Turfway ceremony will be held March 1 before the 1st race.
Editor's note: Open the "comments" section of this post to read a message from well-know Thoroughbred trainer Kenny McPeek's thoughts on Errol. Any other friends of Errol's are welcome to post here as well; just click on the word "comments" at the bottom of this post and you can type in the box to leave your thoughts.