05/04/2011 11:32AM

Hastings: Bryant McAfee, former horsemen's exeutive, dead at 76


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Bryant McAfee, a former executive director of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association of British Columbia, died Monday at St. Paul’s Hospital in downtown Vancouver. He was 76.

McAfee was the executive director of the horsemen’s association from 1978 until his retirement last year. He also served in the same capacity for the national horsemen’s association of Canada.

In 1980. McAfee started a substance abuse program at Hastings that evolved into the North American-wide Winners Foundation. His work was recognized in 2006, when he was the first recipient of the Industry Service Award from the North American body of the horsemen’s association

McAfee made a major impact in many people’s lives, particularly at Hastings. Wayne Russell, senior steward at Hastings, credits McAfee with turning his life around.

“He was one of the greatest individuals I ever had the pleasure of knowing,” said Russell. “He had everything to do with my 27 years of sobriety.“

McAfee was inducted into the British Columbia Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2008. He is survived by his wife, Ethel, three children and two grandchildren. Funeral services are pending.