Griggs, Owner of Champion Warm Spell, Dies

Griggs earned 1994 Eclipse Award with champion steeplechaser Warm Spell.

Retired equine veterinarian Johnny Kirk Griggs, the owner and trainer of champion steeplechaser Warm Spell, died Oct. 19 in Lexington. He was 84.

A vet and a Thoroughbred owner and breeder, Griggs was proud of the Eclipse Award he picked up in 1994, when Warm Spell was named champion steeplechaser. The Kentucky-bred Northern Baby gelding set steeplechase course records at Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course, and Atlanta.

In four seasons of racing, Warm Spell won 12 of 19 starts and earned more than $450,000.

Griggs moved to Lexington in 1958 and practiced equine medicine there until his retirement. The Griggs family said he took great pleasure in riding and training his steeplechasers and loved his farm, horses, and home. 

A memorial service and visitation will be held from 2-4:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at Fasig-Tipton in Lexington.