01/27/2013 1:02PM

Lexington owner-breeder Evelyn Courtney dies


Evelyn Courtney, who with her husband Robert operated Crestfield Farm in Lexington, Ky., for more than 50 years, died on Jan. 25. She was 88.

The Courtneys established Crestfield Farm in 1954. They bred nine stakes winners in partnership with Robert Congleton, including Fit to Fight, who swept the Handicap Triple Crown in 1984, a series comprised of the Metropolitan, Brooklyn and Suburban Handicaps. Fit to Fight, a son of Chieftain out of the One Count mare Hasty Queen II, won 14 of 26 starts and earned $1,042,075.

The Courtneys had purchased Hasty Queen II for $11,000 at auction and sold several of her progeny at auction for total prices in excess of $1 million. Hasty Queen II, who produced 12 winners, including six stakes winners, from 14 starters, was named 1984 Broodmare of the Year.

Other standouts bred by the Courtneys included Dollar Bill, a Peaks and Valleys colt who earned more than $1.2 million, recording two stakes wins, highlighted by a triumph in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in 2000.

For clients, Crestfield raised champions Meadow Star and Action This Day, as well as sire Meadowlake.

The operation was a major consignor at sales in Kentucky for decades and Robert Courtney was one of the founders of Fasig-Tipton Kentucky.

The Courtneys retired from the business in 2008.

Evelyn Courtney is survived by her husband, Robert, Sr., and two sons, Robert, Jr., and Tom, both involved in racing.