Ohio horseman Robert Butzer died Oct. 16 in Canton, Ohio, after a period of declining health. He was 85.

A Marine during World War II, Butzer was a member of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. He started in Quarter Horse racing before entering the Thoroughbred business.

Butzer was partners in racing with his son, Barry, who owns Sun Valley Farm near Versailles, Ky. The two men would buy mares, have them bred, and sell them.

“We’d sell the mare in foal or get a foal out of the mare and bred her back and sell the mare in foal and the offspring,” Barry Butzer said.

The elder Butzer made his first visit to the Keeneland November breeding stock sale in 1991 and bought several mares. Over the next two decades, the mares purchased by Sun Valley become the dams of more than 150 stakes horses either for Sun Valley or for other owners down the road.

The Butzers were serious when it came to the sales. “We’d be there when it started at 11:00 a.m., and we’d stay until it ended at 6:30 p.m.,” Barry Butzer said. “No visiting or walking around, things like that.”

Sun Valley bred six stakes winners, including Keeneland graded stakes winner Chin High.

Butzer’s survivors also include sons Robert L. Butzer and William and a daughter, Brenda.
 

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