02/03/2004 1:00AM

Nielsen, breeder, dead


Jerry Nielsen, the president of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, died Monday of a heart attack in Darien, Conn. He was 69.

Nielsen owned and managed the 200-acre Sunnyfield Farm, a commercial breeding operation in Bedford, N.Y., with his wife, Joanne. Together the Nielsens bred several New York-bred champions, including Capades, the state's 1990 horse of the year. Other stakes winners bred by the Nielsens include Quantum Merit, a nominee for New York's champion turf male of 2003. The Nielsens were named breeders of the year in New York in 2002.

Nielsen, who had a background in commercial real estate and as a flower shop owner, was a board member of the New York Breeding and Development Fund for several years. Last month, he was unanimously re-elected to a second two-year term as NYTB president.

Viewing hours are 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday at Lawrence Funeral Home in Darien. A service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at St. John's Church in Darien.

Nielsen's family requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his name to the NYTB's scholarship fund.