Betty Shea Miller, a former secretary-treasurer of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, died Sept. 12 at age 90. Miller's husband, trainer Danny Shea, who preceded her in death, laid the foundation for the family's success by purchasing Merryland Farm near Hydes, Md., in the late 1930s.
Miller was a chief promoter of racing in the Old Line State, first from Merryland and later from her Merry Hill, which was carved from Merryland after Merryland was sold in the early 1960s. Miller lobbied on behalf of racing in the capital city Annapolis, and arranged for underprivileged and handicapped children to visit the farm. She also was a key fund-raiser for the Maryland Horse Council.
In 1987, Miller received a Tesio Award in recognition of her efforts to showcase racing. She also received a Humphrey S. Finney Award in 2001 for her lifetime contributions to Maryland racing. She campaigned homebred stakes winner Cassorbit.
The Merryland acreage was bought in 2001 by the Pons family, owners of Country Life Farm near Bel Air, Md., and renamed Country Life Nursery at Merryland Farm.