01/18/2008 12:00AM

James Stone, owner, dies at 82


Oil company founder James H. Stone, whose horses included Grade 1 winner Menifee and Group 1 winner Ardross, died in New Orleans on Jan. 14, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He was 82.

Stone founded the Stone Oil Company in 1952 in Ohio and gradually developed it into Stone Energy Corp., which he took public in 1993. He resigned his position as the company's chief executive officer in 2001 but remained chairman at his death.

A longtime racing fan, Stone achieved much of his success as an owner with partner Arthur Hancock III. The pair campaigned Menifee together, winning the 1999 Blue Grass Stakes and Haskell Invitational and finishing second that year in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The two also raced Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed Chamrousse, winner of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes in 2002. Both were bred by Hancock.

Stone also owned Ardross, the champion older runner in Ireland in 1980, in France in 1981 and 1982, and in England in 1981.

A decorated Marine veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Stone is survived by his wife, Joelle Rogers Stone, six children, and eight grandchildren. Funeral services were to be private.