10/24/2004 12:00AM

Farish, Hunt inducted into Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame

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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Will Farish and Nelson Bunker Hunt were inducted into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame during a ceremony after the races Saturday at Lone Star Park.

Hunt was in attendance and received a standing ovation, while Danny Shifflett, a longtime employee of Farish, accepted the honor on behalf of Farish, who was unable to attend Saturday.

Hunt spoke for several minutes following his induction. "I thank my horses," he said, and went on to recount memories of some of his best, including Vaguely Noble, Dahlia, and Exceller.

Farish and Hunt are part of the sixth class of the Texas Hall, which has 34 members. Funds are being raised to construct a museum at Retama Park near San Antonio, and drawings of the future site were on display Saturday. Until it is constructed, Retama plans to place exhibits of each of the Texas Hall members near the paddock, said Joe Straus, Jr., chairman of Retama.

Following inductions, there was a live auction benefiting the museum, and one of the most popular items was a 2005 Kentucky Derby package of two tickets and hotel accommodations, which brought $2,600.

Also during the program, the Texas Thoroughbred Association was recognized for 50 years of serving breeders and horsemen in Texas, while the late Patricia Link was honored with a humanitarian award for her contributions to the equine program at Texas A & M University.

The gala is overseen each year by Jo Ann Weber, who could not attend because she has been hospitalized in Austin, said Straus.