Joe King in 1964 with What a Pleasure, sire of 1975 Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure

Joe King in 1964 with What a Pleasure, sire of 1975 Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure

Art Kunkel Photographer

Florida Horseman Joe King Dies at 91

King managed Waldemar Farm, which bred Foolish Pleasure.

Florida horseman Joe King died Feb. 18 at the age of 91 in Gainesville, Fla.

Born in Dalhart, Texas in 1926, King was from a long line of cowboys and that is how he wanted to live his life. After working as an Army surgical technician during World War II, he worked on cattle ranches in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana. He trained, showed, and raced Quarter Horses. Soon after he began training and racing Thoroughbreds.

After success training horses for Howard Sams, he was offered the position of manager at Sams' Waldemar Farm in Williston, Fla. With his horsemanship and old-fashioned horse sense, the farm produced winners such as Foolish Pleasure, champion 2-year-old male and winner of the 1975 Kentucky Derby.

He was a past member of the American Quarter Horse Association, the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association, and the Florida Cattlemen's Association.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations in memory of King to his church family, the Rafter Cross Cowboy Church, P.O. Box 358, Williston, Fla., 32696.

The family has requested a private graveside service at a later date.