Former Texas HBPA, TTA President Stanley Beard Passes Away

Stanley Beard, a founder and past president of the Texas HBPA, a past president of the Texas Thoroughbred Association, and one of Texas’ most accomplished horsemen, passed away on December 14 at the age of 79. A native Texan born in Houston, Beard purchased his first Thoroughbred from William S. Farish’s grandfather in 1947 and over the decades he bred or campaigned nearly 20 stakes winners.

Beard’s most decorated runner was Triple Sec, a Florida-bred whom he purchased for $28,000 at the 1982 Texas Thoroughbred Breeders Association Selected Sale. The son of Tri Jet went on to earn $283,782 as a juvenile and was the nation’s top earning two-year-old in 1983. Triple Sec earned more than $500,000 in his career with six stakes wins, including the $310,568 Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park. Triple Sec also finished a close third in the Grade 1 Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park, and he enjoyed a successful stallion career in Texas as the sire of 128 winners and the earners of nearly $4 million.

Beard did not just leave his mark on the racetrack; he was heavily involved in the development of Texas racing, the Texas Horsemen's Partnership, and the Texas Thoroughbred Association. He served on the TTA board of directors from 1986 to 2000 and as the TTA’s president from 1988-89. He was one of only three people to win the three major awards presented by the TTA: the Alan Bogan Memorial Award for member of the year, Joseph R. Straus Sr. Award for member recruiting and T.I. “Pops” Harkins Award for lifetime achievement. Beard also served on the first Breeders’ Cup board of directors and was a board member of the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He also served as president of the Texas HBPA. Outside of racing, Beard enjoyed a successful career first in the dairy business, then in feed sales and finally in real estate. 

"Stanley's election to the TTA board in 1986 coincided with the passage of pari-mutuel legislation, and he became one of the most active owners and breeders in the efforts to get pari-mutuel racing implemented, first at former non-pari-mutuel tracks, and then at the new Class 1's," said Dave Hooper, executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association. "He also helped to establish the horsemen's organization in Texas so that local trainers and backstretch workers would have representation and benevolence programs similar to other states. His contributions to Texas racing are probably only exceeded by the tales he told about the horsemen and horses he knew, especially Triple Sec, his favorite horse and favorite subject."    

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Dorothy Ann Hyde Beard of Kerrville; his sister, Pamela Sue McMillen of Cañon City, Colo.; sister-in-law, Josephine E. Kopp of Rock Island, Ill.; his children, Stanley Edwin Beard of Round Rock, Texas, John Wesley Beard and his wife, Linda, of Rockdale, Texas, James Russell Beard and his wife, Mary Kay, of Chappell Hill, Texas, and Julie Ann Beard Mertz and her husband, David, of Kerrville, Texas.

Memorials may be made in honor of the Stanley M. Beard Memorial Fund at the Horseman’s Benevolent & Protective Association, P.O. Box 142533, Austin, TX 78714. The fund aids in providing medical care to the backside workers at racetracks. There will be a memorial service at Garden of Memories in Kerrville at a later date.

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