01/23/2012 3:42PM

Arnold Pessin, veterinarian and Dueling Grounds owner, dies at 83


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Arnold Pessin, a longtime Kentucky veterinarian who also was former manager and partner in the former Dueling Grounds racetrack, died Friday at age 83.

Pessin founded the 500-acre Winchester Farm near Lexington and stood Olden Times, the 1982 leading juvenile and broodmare sire. In partnership with trainer Rex Ellsworth, he also built the Kentucky Training Center on Paris Pike in Lexington. The partners later leased the facility to Fasig-Tipton, which first conducted auctions there in 1970 before building its own sales complex at Newtown Paddocks on Newtown Pike.

Pessin also became embroiled in the bankruptcy and money-laundering case of Lexington horseman Tom Gentry. In 1995, Pessin pleaded guilty to breaking bankruptcy law by cashing checks for Gentry while Gentry was in bankruptcy. Pessin was fined and given probation.

Pessin was a native of Hartford, Conn., and graduated from Cornell University and the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.

Pessin is survived by his former wife Frances; son Neil, a trainer; and daughters Pam and Jan Pessin and Holly Barnhill.

Visitation was to take place Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home on Harrodsburg Road in Lexington. Funeral services were to be private. The family suggests memorial contributions to a Thoroughbred rescue of one’s choice.