Sad Farewell to Edward Evans
The passing of Edward Evans came as a tremendous shock to the entire horse racing industry and the close-knit New York racing community. Over the years, Evans built up a legendary status as a prominent thoroughbred breeder and well-known horse owner, and many have commented that his presence will be missed. His dedication and passion for the sport is a quality remembered by everyone, and his loss will have a ripple effect throughout the industry. Edward Evans has most definitely left his mark on the horse racing industry and will be fondly remembered in years to come.
Breeding and owning race horses was in Evan’s blood, as his father, Thomas Mellon Evans, owned his own breeding farm named Buckland Farm. Buckland farm produced many well known winning horses, of which Pleasant Colony, winner of the 1981 Kentucky Derby, was the most famous. In 1969, Evans realized his own breeding and owner dreams by purchasing 3000 acres of land, which became Spring Hill Farm. This successful Virginia farm produced a number of stakes winning horses for Evans, and many top trainers, such as Todd Pletcher and Toni Dutrow, worked closely with Evans to train his horses to perfection.
In 2009, Evans was awarded the National Breeder of the Year Award, and won state breeder of the year no less than six times. His most recent success story was Quality Road, trained by Pletcher. This magnificent horse won numerous races including the Woodward Stakes, Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby. Pletcher reflected on Evans by saying, “He was a terrific owner for us and our stable and he cared greatly about his horses. He was a tremendous person for the sport and loved the game, and took great pride and pleasure in breeding, raising, and racing his horses.”
Evans was also active in the Jockey Club, and a familiar face at the New York racing facilities. Charles Hayward of the NYRA commented that, “Edward Evans was one of the most prominent horsemen on the New York circuit and you would be hard pressed to find someone more passionate about horses and horse racing. It is not going to be the same without his presence at the NYRA tracks, and he will be sorely missed throughout the industry.” Edward Evans will be buried on his farm, and the funeral services will be a private affair.