Texas Breeder Hassel Spraberry Dies

Hassel R. Spraberry, who bred and owned 2004 WinStar Derby winner Hi Teck Man, died Feb. 21 at the age of 74.

Spraberry campaigned multiple New Mexico-bred stakes winner Live Show as well as Missy Cherub, the 1997 New Mexico 3-Year-Old Filly of the Year. Missy Cherub produced Hi Teck Man, a Texas-bred son of Claudius. Hi Teck Man gave the couple their biggest victory as owners with a 46-1 upset score in the $500,000 WinStar Derby at Sunland Park. The $270,000 winner's share was the highest ever earned by a Texas-bred.

Though recently unable to travel to the races much due to his health, the longtime Texas Thoroughbred Association member continued to enjoy his racehorses and follow their progress from home.

A native of Anson, Texas, Spraberry and his wife, Bonnie established Hi-Lo Farms, a modest racing and breeding program in the small town north of Abilene. The program originated with Quarter Horses and switched to Thoroughbreds in 1987. Spraberry earned his first win in 1967.

Spraberry is survived by his wife of 55 years, two daughters (Cathy Rogers and Christy Farnsworth); one son (Larry Spraberry); six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.