Stanley Beard, who purchased his first horse in 1947 and later served as president of the Texas Thoroughbred Association, died Dec. 14 at age 79.
According to the TTA, Houston-born Beard bred or raced about 20 stakes winners, including Triple Sec, a son of Tri Jet purchased for $28,000 at the 1982 Texas Thoroughbred Breeders Association selected sale. Triple Sec won 11 of 46 starts, including five stakes, and earned $526,652. As a stallion, Triple Sec sired 128 winners and the earners of nearly $4 million, according to the TTA.
Beard served on the TTA board of directors from 1986-2000 and was the organization’s president from 1988-89. According to the TTA release, 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 on the board of theTexas Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He also served as president of the Texas Horsemens’ Benevolent and Protective Association. In addition to breeding and racing, Beard was also involved in dairy farming, feed sales, and 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 TTA executive director Dave Hooper. "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."
Beard is survived by his wive, Dorothy Ann Hyde Beard; and children, Stanley Edwin Beard, John Wesley Beard, James Russell Beard, and Julie Ann Beard Mertz.
Memorials may be made in honor of the Stanley M. Beard Memorial Fund at the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, P.O. Box 142533, Austin, TX 78714. The fund aids in providing medical care to backstretch workers.