Anne M. Eberhardt

Breeder Hargus Sexton Dies at 96

With his wife, Sandra, he was responsible for numerous top-level runners worldwide.

Hargus Sexton, a one-time mutuels clerk who became a leading breeder of Thoroughbreds, died June 15 at his farm outside Versailles, Ky. He was 96.

Sexton was a successful businessman with interests in tobacco and beverage companies when he married the former Sandra Ellsworth in 1987 and began breeding Thoroughbreds. The Sextons bred or co-bred grade 1 winners Corinthian, Crustaceo, Gayego, Capo Bastone , and additional graded stakes victors Sir Hutch, Satans Quick Chick, Xtreme Bid, Grand Tito, Silent Valor, Crypto Star, Mo Tom, Desert Hero, and Distinta.

"He was an excellent horseman, one of the last of the old-school hardboots,” said Kitty Taylor, whose Warrendale Sales sold the Sextons' sale horses. "It was hay, oats, and cracked corn; that's how he raised them. I wouldn't have a company without his support. He always honored his word. And Sandra was his partner in everything; they had a great relationship."

Brandi Nicholson, with her husband, Steven, have been partners with the Sextons for the past eight years.

"He was an astute and creative businessman," she said, "and was always teaching us something new. We are thankful to have had these wonderful years to learn from him. He was adamant about including us in everything and was generous in every way. He made us feel more like family than business partners."

Sexton is survived by Sandra; two daughters; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Several years ago Sexton bought a struggling country club near his home and rebuilt it into the Moss Hill Golf Course on McCowans Ferry Road outside Versailles. A celebration of his life will take place there June 21 from 6-8 p.m. The family asks that donations be made to Central Kentucky Riding for Hope or the Old Friends retirement farm.