Back to Hall of Fame
Daniel J. Agnew
, Inducted 2007)
Though being honored for accomplishments
since 1970, Dan Agnews family has been prominent on the Washington
Thoroughbred racing and breeding scene for three generations.
His grandfather, Sam A. Agnew, started with
trotters on the fair circuit, but by the 1950s, Dans father, S. J.
Jay, was racing Thoroughbreds successfully at Longacres and
Playfair and had established T9O Farm near Centralia. Dans Thoroughbred
namesake, Mr. Dan A. (foaled in 1956) was a stakes winner at three and four
while running for Dans parents.
October 1945, Dan would graduate from law school at Willamette University in
1970 and assume the leadership of the family business, which included prominent
lumber dealings, in 1980 after the death of his father.
As a young man, Dan was on hand when the T9O colors
were carried by Terlago in the 1970 Kentucky Derby. Thirteen years later he
would be back at Churchill Downs hallowed grounds to see his Desert Wine
finish second to Sunnys Halo in the 109th running of the May classic and
then be runner-up in the Preakness Stakes (G1). The son of Damascus was to
become racings 50th millionaire.
1980s, T9O Farm, renamed DanDar Farm in 1984, would stand some of the
preeminent Washington stallions of the era, including four-time leading
Washington sire Staff Writer and other top stallions, such as Captain
Courageous, Just the Time, Drouilly (Fr) and Peterhof.
Dan bred, or co-bred, Washington champions
Tortellini Roma (1987 two-year-old filly), T. D. Passer (1989 three-year-old
colt) and Grade 1 star Delicate Vine. The daughter of Knights Choice was
Washing- tons horse of the year in 1986 and was ranked second of her sex
on the national Experimental Free Handicap at two. Among his
non-Washington-bred stakes winners are group one winners Alydars Best and
Other top runners racing in the
Agnew silks include Sunset Handicap (G1) winner Kings Island (Ire), Spinster
Stakes (G1) winner Top Corsage, 1992 Longacres Derby winner Star Recruit,
two-time Belle Roberts Stakes winner Silk Chiffon and, more recently, Fortunate
Event, who finished second in the Emerald Distaff Handicap on August 19.
A second generation WTBA president, Dan has been a
member of the WTBA board of directors since 1980 and was at its helm for 15
years. In 2006, the WTBA honored Dan with its most prestigious honor, the S. J.
Agnew Special Achievement Award.
lives in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife Kim.
The Konecny family’s journey to the Hall of Fame began in the 1980s when Doris met some ex-nuns who loved going to Longacres. After a few racetrack afternoons spent in their company, both John and Doris both got the “racehorse bug” and soon formed a stable with their new friends, claiming several horses under the seven-partner (with John the lone male) Chuckle Stable.
In 1983, John and Doris attended the WTBOA Summer Sale where they and then partner M. K. Richards spent $20,000 to buy a yearling filly by Messenger of Song out of champion Silky Steel. Although the filly, who would be named Whimsical Aire, was unraced due to a broken sesamoid, it was money well spent, as through the years many racing and selling highs have emanated from her genes. Whimsical Aire would produce a trio of stakes-winning and stakes-producing daughters and be honored as Washington broodmare of the year in 1990.
Another 1983 purchase was the young broodmare Wicca, who was bought out of the Fasig-Tipton November sale. When bred to Staff Writer, her fourth foal would become their first stakes winner and state champion, 1988’s top two-year-old filly Flame McGoon, who was named to honor the B-24 fighter plane that John served on during World War II. Flame McGoon’s daughter Infernal McGoon, also bred by the Konecnys, would be named 2003 Washington champion older filly or mare and that mare’s daughter, Talk to My Lawyer, was state champion juvenile filly of 2011.
In 1987, they purchased 30-acres in Enumclaw which would be named Czech-Mate Farm in honor of John’s Czechoslovakian heritage and his prowess with chess.
Two years after the Konecnys’ first champion, they had their second in Mahaska, Whimsical Aire’s second foal and first daughter would earn $235,253, win five stakes and be Grade 3-placed. Mahaska produced Quizzical, who was named 2012 Washington champion three-year-old filly and she is also the grandam of 2008 Washington champion sophomore Enumclaw Girl.
Of Whimsical Aire’s 17 other foals, 11 would become winners and include the full sisters Zashrany and Taj Aire. Zashrany won stakes at Longacres, Playfair and Yakima Meadows and the ill-fated mare’s first two, and only, foals both were stakes winners in Northern California. Her two year younger sister, Taj Aire, while probably not as adept at the races, with only one stakes win, and that at Yakima Meadows, has been a topnotch broodmare with four stakes winners to her credit: Washington champion grass horse Handyman Bill, G3 winner and Grade 1-placed Elusive Diva, $314,895 stakes winner R. Baggio, and Tropics, who won a stakes in England this past summer. Taj Aire was voted 2003 Washington broodmare of the year.
Meanwhile, the Konecnys’ son Michael, who had spent time studying jaguars and other small cats in Central America and the Galapagos Islands, was developing his own small, select band of broodmares. The first stakes winner he bred was Little Eva, a granddaughter of Wicca who won two stakes as a two-year-old in 1996. Two years earlier, the younger Konecny had purchased a young daughter of Lord At War (Arg) named Springhurst who would produce Washington’s sixth Grade 1 winner and 2001 horse of the year and champion two-year-old Tali’sluckybusride. Springhurst was also honored as Washington’s broodmare of the year.
Michael’s second state champion and graded stakes winner was also sired by Delineator, as was “Tali.” Fast Parade was a Washington stakes winner at two, who had a breakout year at three when he won the Baldwin Stakes at Santa Anita, set a new course record in the Green Flash Stakes at Del Mar and finished his double championship season with a victory over older runners in the $446,892 Nearctic Stakes (G2-Can).
Among the other good runners bred by the Konecny family are 1997 Washington most improved plater Just Diet and other stakes winners Alert and Ready, Bijou Barrister, Cantil, West Walker and Zatim.
Theiline (Ty) Schuemann
(Founded 1962, Inducted 2011)
Grousemont Farm was founded in 1962 by Theiline (Ty) and Howard S. Wright, who died in 1996. Today, the smaller, but still highly successful horse operation continues with Ty and her second husband, Doug Scheumann.
Both Ty and Howard were from prominent Seattle families and Ty’s uncle, William Piggott, was a well-known West Coast racehorse owner until his premature death in 1947.
Theiline Piggott ‘s interest in horses had developed early, and she was to become an accomplished horsewoman, participating in horse shows and riding to the hounds in Virginia.
In 1959 the Wrights purchased 60 acres outside of Redmond. Three years later the family home was built on the property which would later be named Grousemont Farm. Among their Redmond friends and “neighbors” were William and Barbara Nelson (Gunshy Manor) and it is through Barbara’s influence that the Wrights initially became involved in the Thoroughbred racing.
The Wrights purchased their first mare, stakes-placed Checking Time, and her suckling by Strong Ruler from Hugh Taylor In 1966. The next year they consigned the colt to the WHBA Sale, where Herman Sarkowsky paid $6,500 for Fitness, who would win the 1968 Drumheller Memorial and WHBA Sales Stakes.
In the following years, with the help of WHBA executive secretary Ed Heinemann, the couple bought mares by such noted sires as Prince John, Crafty Admiral, Blue Prince, Swaps and *Indian Hemp, many who would become stakes producers. The Wrights’ first major crop (1968) featured foals by T. V. Lark, Summer Tan, *Cavan, Double Jay and leading Washington sire Strong Ruler. Longtime friend and ex-cattle partner Warren Bean co-owned several horses with them.
The August 1969 Washington Horse featured a story on Grousemont Farm, in which Ty stated “Grousemont Farm operations will be kept small enough to have a personal relationship with the horses, but at the same time, we will always keep the word quality foremost in our thoughts.”
She would keep that promise. From that 1968 crop alone came the first of their champions, a colt with the peculiar name of Rock Bath.
A son of Belmont Stakes winner *Cavan, Rock Bath became “the ‘Super Soph’ who stole the show in 1971.”After inauspiciously breaking his maiden in his sixth start for a $5,000 tag at Playfair at two, the bay colt rolled out a trio of stakes victories at Longacres – all the while doing his best “Silky Sullivan” imitation – and was named horse of the meet for the Wright-Bean partnership. Rock Bath added two more stakes victories in Northern California that season and was named Washington horse of the year. In 1973, he became the first Washington-bred runner to place in a graded stakes after he finished third to *Cougar II in the Grade 1 Sunset Handicap.
Grousemont Farm-bred Savanna Blue Jeans would win five stakes during her 1975-76 championships seasons and help earn her dam, Spooky Creature, broodmare of the year honors. While Savanna Blue Jeans did not produce a stakes winner, her grandson, the speedy Knight in Savannah, later sired two Washington champions.
The farm’s third Washington champion was Marching Duke, a son of Go Marching who was named top three-year-old male runner in 1978.
As their involvement in the Washington industry grew, Howard would serve on the WTBA board and the Washington Horse Racing Commission.
The Wrights kept a half-sister to Rock Bath named Pro Tab. Stakes winner Pro Tab produced five stakes horses. Among them was Gray Tab, who would foal a trio of stakes winners, including Grousemont’s fourth Washington champion, Ladies Excuse Me (granddam of $359,776 stakes winner Winning Machine).
Other Washington-bred stakes winners bred by Grousemont alone or in partnership include: Crafty Patient, Cup o’ Blue, Grandy Dandy, Ketchum Samantha, Ramalogue, Duke of Roni, Spooky Patient and Cup o’ Spooks, I’m in Demand and more recently, 2004 Independence Day Handicap winner Briartic Gold.
In 1977, Ty decided to breed her *Vaguely Noble mare Noble Lady to the aging champion Nashua. From that union came a colt who would give Grousemont Farm national recognition. Noble Nashua would finish second to champion Lord Avie in the Champagne Stakes (G1) and, after winning the Whirlaway Stakes in his three-year-old debut, went on to take the Grade 1 Marlboro Invitational Handicap and Swaps Stakes and the Grade 2 Dwyer and Jerome stakes. The Flying Zee Stables colt received the second highest ranking on the experimental free handicap (behind champion Pleasant Colony) and was named Kentucky sophomore colt champion of 1981.
Trivia question: Who was Bob Baffert and Mike Pegram’s first Breeders’ Cup winner?
Answer: Thirty Slews in the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). The Grousemont Farm-bred son of Slewpy—Chickery Chick recorded a quick 1:08 1/5, just two ticks off the Gulfstream Park record and earned Grousemont its second Kentucky-bred champion title (sprinter).
Among the other non-Washington stakes winners bred by Grousemont are: Nasty Storm (G2), Sure to Explode, Future Bright, Speed World (G3, Japan), Going Gray, Mutarijam (Germany), Mi Lucia, Outrigger, Born Winner, Palmerio (G3) and Slews Final Answer.
Ty has concentrated on racing proven fillies through the years. Included among them was 1984 Flower Bowl Stakes (G1) winner Rossard (Den), a Swedish Derby winner who would later produce top California sire Unusual Heat.
Other stakes-winning distaffers raced by Ty include Joli Vert, Descent and more recently J Z Warrior and Downthedustyroad. 2010 Oaks d’Italia (G2) runner-up Middle Club (GB) races in Ty’s name in 2011. In addition, Ty, her son David Wright and Wright’s father-in-law, Charles Swanson, raced 2006 Washington most improved plater Magoo Can Do.
(1938- , Inducted 2003)
Jerre Paxtons Northwest Farms/Yakima
Stallion Station has dominated Washington racing and breeding circles for over
two decades. He was the leading breeder by earnings in Washington for 12
consecutive years (1984-95). Paxton set new earnings records for a breeder in
1990, 1992 and again in 1994. He established a new record for number of stakes
winners in one year with eight in 1992. Paxtons Yakima farm has bred 12
Washington champions. Originally operating as the Yakima Stallion Station,
Paxton stood 1982-1986 leading Washington sire Drum Fire there and later his
1991 leading son Knights Choice. By the time of Knights Choices reign,
the farm had been renamed Northwest Farms. Northwest Farms has sold the WTBA
Summer Yearling Sale topper 12 times (co-1979, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1992,
1995, 1997, 1999 and 2000-02). Among the farms many exceptional matrons
were Washington broodmares of the year Yang (1978) and Pamlisas Delight
Click here for expanded profile.
Guy and Barbara Roberts (Guy Bar Farm)
(Guy 1928- ; Inducted 2005)
Married for over 50 years, and
stalwarts of the local breeding industry for over 30 of those, Guy and Barbara
Roberts reside in Sunnyside, also home to their Thoroughbred nursery, Guy Bar
Farm. An apple and produce grower/distributor, Guy Roberts bred his first
winner in 1968 (Fleet Yetta), his first stakes winner in 1971 (Vitation) and
first went over the $100,000 yearly earnings mark as a breeder first in 1981.
The couple has led all breeders within the state borders seven times (1996-98,
2001-2004), ranked second five times and held the third position four times
since 1988. For those keeping score, thats a one-two-three position in 16
of the last 17 years. Other career highlights include: breeding Washington
champions Funboy (1972), Cocktails Anyone (1997 and 1998), Courts in
Session (2004), all graded stakes performers, and being breeders of five
statebreds to win over $230,000 each: Funboy ($478,180), Peters Pond
($248,082), Cocktails Anyone ($242,545), Courts in Session ($238,945) and
Court Shenanigans ($230,378). Guy Bar Farm has stood several prominent
Washington sires and was home to three-time leading Washington sire Table Run
during his career at stud. Roberts is also past-president of the Washington
Thoroughbred Breeders Association, has served on dozens of the
organizations committees and remains active on the board of trustees
today. Click here for expanded profile.
Wilbur and Marianne Stadelman
(Wilbur 1905-1984, Marianne d. 1997, Inducted 2009)
One of two sons of prominent Oregon businessman and politician Peter J. Stadelman, J. Wilbur Stadelman was born in 1905 in The Dalles, Oregon.
In 1930, Wilbur and his brother George purchased their father’s Stadelman Ice Company, founded in 1898, and renamed the now Yakima-based Stadelman Fruit Company, which still exists today. Wilbur was said to have shipped more than 50-million boxes of cherries in his lifetime.
Wilbur and his first wife Florence got into Thoroughbred racing in the late 1950s. Their first runner of note was Doctrinaire, who they had claimed for $20,000 at Del Mar, and who would shortly thereafter win the 1960 Longacres Mile by 3 1/4 lengths.
The Yakima couple soon acquired their first broodmares, and while the first runner they bred was unplaced in 1962, the following year they would have two horses (Concession and Merry Mixture) win four races and place 11 more times, to earn $8,307, and their Systematic would finish third in the 1963 Mile. That year would also mark the death of Florence.
Stadelman, along with A. J. Penney, was one of the “movers and shakers” who founded the Yakima Valley Turf Club and was the Yakima track’s first president in 1961.
In 1966, Stadelman had his second Mile winner in *Aurelius II, and the Argentine import would later become a successful sire in Washington.
A. J. Penney’s son Jim would train Stadelman’s Luck Amuck to win the 1966 Mary Broderick Memorial and also Stadelman’s first homebred stakes winner, 1971 Mary Broderick winner Hot Feet, the first foal out of future broodmare of the year Hold Hands. By the time 1973 rolled around, Stadelman had remarried and Hold Hands’ second foal, Whatawaytogo, had won a division of the Yakima Derby in his and Marianne’s colors.
The Stadelmans had their third Broderick Memorial winner in 1976 when Hold Hands’ fourth foal, a filly by *Aurelius II, won the race. Any Time Girl, who had finished third in the Hollywood Lassie Stakes (G2) prior to her trip to Longacres, next won the Debutante Stakes at Bay Meadows by six lengths. Sent to Santa Anita for the $100,000 Oak Leaf Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 event, Any Time Girl emerged victorious by the closest of margins, but only after the filly bolted to the outside rail, “running sideways as much as forward.” Only the photo finish camera could tell for sure that the Washington-bred had become the state’s first graded stakes winner. She finished her campaign with a second in the Bay Meadows Lassie Stakes and was ranked the fifth highest weighted two-year-old filly in the nation, as well as Washington horse of the year. She came back the following year to place in three California stakes.
As good as she was, her half-sister Table Hands, also a Stadelman homebred, would eclipse her record in 1979. In her five starts at two, the daughter of Table Run never lost, including a 4 1/2-length win in the Hollywood Lassie Stakes (G2). She was sold to Peter Brant and Joe Allen for a reported $500,000 and recorded a six-length tally in the Del Mar Debutante Stakes (G2) for her new owners. On the year-end Experimental Free Handicap, only champion Smart Angle was weighted above the Washington horse of the year (120 to 119). Table Hands would win the Santa Ynez Stakes (G3) at three.
The Stadelmans would later breed and race stakes winners Aurelius Crown and Table Sean before Wilbur’s death in 1984. That was the same year Got You Runnin, a filly bred by Marianne, would become the first Washington-bred to compete in a Breeders’ Cup championship race, en route to being named state champion two-year-old filly, and Hold Hand’s final champion, 1989 Washington sprint champion Crystal Run, was born.
Marianne, who died in 1997, also bred 1990 state champion A Little Bit Tipsy to bring the total of Stadelman-bred champions to five and this with less than 50 runners bred total.
The Stadelmans were among the top 20 breeders on ten occasions and finished in third place in 1976 and 1979.
Go to Top