Dr. William Lockridge, a veterinarian who served in key management positions at some of Central Kentucky's leading Thoroughbred farms, died June 8. He was 81.
After graduating from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine at age 21, Lockridge practiced for 12 years in the Southwest before relocating to Central Kentucky. Among the farms with which he worked were Walmac, Shadowlawn, Ashford, Stonegate, and The Alchemy.
Lockridge was associated with the matings and breeding decisions that produced several prominent horses, but one of his greatest successes was with leading sire Storm Bird.
A Canadian-bred, Storm Bird was purchased by Robert Sangster through the Irish branch of the British Bloodstock Agency for $1 million at the 1979 Keeneland July yearling sale.
Undefeated in five starts as a 2-year-old for Irish trainer M. Vincent O'Brien, Storm Bird was acquired by Lockridge and Robert Hefner for a reported $21 million the following year. Storm Bird was unplaced in his only start at 3, and in 1982 was retired to Ashford Stud, the Versailles, Ky., farm then owned by Lockridge and Hefner.
Lockridge played a key role in the mating that resulted in one of North America's most influential stallions, Storm Cat. He provided advice and guidance early in the development of W.T. Young's breeding and racing venture that became Overbrook Farm. Lockridge selected three young mares to be purchased by Young and Ashford in the early 1980s and then bred them to Storm Bird. One of those mares was the grade II winner Terlingua, who delivered Storm Cat in 1983.
Ashford was purchased by John Magnier and partners in 1984.
Lockridge is survived by his wife, Georgia; a daughter; and two sons.
Memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. EDT June 13 at St John's Episcopal in Versailles, with burial immediately following at Lexington Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy can be made in his honor to The Race for Education, 1818 Versailles Road, Lexington, KY 40504, or Life In Abundance, 1605 East Elizabeth Street Suite 1069, Pasadena, CA 91104.