Don Engel, a publisher and breeder who founded the Thoroughbred Information Agency in California, died Dec. 6 at age 85. Engel and his wife of 41 years, Jean, passed away together.
Don Engel formed the Thoroughbred Information Agency in 1966 after a chance meeting with a California horseman. While hauling a mare one day, Engel stopped at a gas stallion to refuel and noticed the mare had fallen. Unsure of what to do, Engel drove to a nearly farm and got help from the farm owner. The men were able to get the mare standing upright.
More horse talk followed, and the farm owner, who was standing a new stallion, asked Engel if he knew anyone who would help him advertise a stallion. It was then that Engel came up with the idea of the Thoroughbred Information Agency to advertise bloodstock.
Engel, who eventually went into marketing bloodstock, later started Confidential Report to Clients and The TIA Newsletter. In 1997, he offered an online version of the newsletter, www.thoroughbredinfo.com.
Engel retired in 2008. Lisa Groothedde is the current owner of Thoroughbred Information Agency and the website.