Prominent Thoroughbred owner James H. Stone, who campaigned such top runners as Ardross, Menifee, and Chamrousse among others, died January 14 at the age of 82.
Stone was the founder of an oil company in 1952 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He guided that company through decades of tremendous growth into the billion-dollar publicly traded company Stone Energy Corp and served as chairman of that company until his death. A resident of New Orleans, La., since 1981, Stone also was a director of Hibernia National Bank in New Orleans and Newpark Resources, an oilfield service company in Houston.
CEO of Stone Energy Corp. and WWII and Korean War decorated Marine officer, Stone was passionate about Thoroughbred racing. His best runners included two-time Ascot Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Ardross, grade 1 winner and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) runner-up Menifee, and Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) winner Chamrousse. The latter pair he raced in partnership with Arthur B. Hancock III.
“Jimmy was a great friend and partner. Our relationship spanned decades,” said Hancock. “When I was a child, Jimmy took me to the window and helped me make my first bet at Keeneland. In 1999, we won the Blue Grass Stakes together with Menifee. Things go full circle. Jimmy Stone was an astute horseman who was passionate about the game. He will be greatly missed.”
Stone’s civic contributions were equally outstanding. He was a founder of the D-Day Museum, now the National World War II Museum, a founding member and director of the Marine Corps Heritage Association, a member of the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, past trustee of Tulane Medical Center, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans Opera Association, and New Orleans Symphony, which he helped rescue from financial straights in the 1980s.
Earlier, he partnered with the late horseman John W. Galbraith to bring about urban renewal through the Cincinnati Redevelopment Corp. He also served as director of the National Football League’s Rams, board member of the Toys for Tots Foundation, and for over 60 years supported his alma mater, Williams College, as alumnus, donor, volunteer, and father/grandfather of five graduates.
Club affiliations included the Krewe of Hermes, of which he served as King in 1994, as well as the New Orleans Country Club and Reading Room in Saratoga, NY.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Toys for Tots Foundation, P.O. Box 1947, Quantico, VA