(Edited Wire to Wire Daily Racing Digest article)
Tony Barnard, a former trainer at Tartan Farms, died Oct. 1 in Ocala, Fla., of congestive heart failure. He was 77.
Barnard started with Tartan near Ocala in the mid-1960s at the time the farm was owned by founder William L. McKnight and when the horses were trained at the track by future Hall of Famer John A. Nerud. Harold and Frances Genter were clients of the farm.
“Tony was a superb horseman," Tom Caruso, who was Barnard’s assistant, told Wire to Wire. "We were very fortunate to work with the type of horses we had. He developed some unbelievable horses: Fappiano, Maudlin, Smile, Cozzene. Those are just a few I can think of."
A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Barnard grew up around horses. He was a rider in his teens and began training full time when he was 21.
Among the horses trained by Barnard at Tartan was France Genter's colt Unbridled. Bred by Tartan and a son of Fappiano, Unbridled was voted 1990 champion 3-year-old male after winning the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). He later developed into a major sire.
Barnard played a key role in the importation of South African Horse of the Year Horse Chestnut. Horse Chestnut, whom Barnard called one of the best he ever worked with, won the 2000 Broward Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park in what was his last start. He stands at the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky.
Barnard's survivors include sons Graham and Malcolm, and former wife Margaret.