06/05/2013 2:58PM

Louisiana breeder William Boorhem dies at age 91


William Boorhem, a leading owner and breeder in Louisiana, died May 31 in Dallas, Texas. He was 91.

Boorhem’s Foxwood Plantation in Belcher, La., was named Louisiana’s breeder of the year for nine consecutive years. Foxwood Plantation’s biggest breeding successes include 1996 Arkansas Derby winner Zarb’s Magic and stakes winners Zarb’s Luck, Leslie’s Love, Zarb’s Dahar, Our Love, My Star Runner and Zarbycat.

Boorhem, who was born in Los Angeles, Calif., grew up along the Mississippi River following his father’s civil engineering jobs. He served in World War II as a Naval fighter pilot, surviving being shot down twice over the South Pacific.

After the war, Boorhem worked for a concrete and limestone company, before co-founding his own limestone company, Texas-based Crushers, Inc., which he later sold to Vulcan Materials. He then went on to start up successful aggregate company Boorhem-Fields, which he sold to Irish-based Old Castle Inc.

Following that transaction, Boorhem turned his attention to the Thoroughbred industry, building Foxwood Plantation with his second wife, Pat Hamlin.

In addition to their success as owners and breeders, the Boorhems were also active advocates on backside issues, helping raise funds to support the Winner’s Circle Ministry and other causes in support of backside track employees.

Boorhem is survived by six children. A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 7 in the Chapel of the Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home in Dallas. The family will receive visitors Thursday evening, June 6, from 7-9 p.m. Central at Sparkman Hillcrest.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Boorhem’s honor to the Louisiana HBPA, P.O. Box 5584, Bossier City, LA 71171, or to a favorite charity.