11/08/2012 2:56PM

Owner Barbara Hunter dies at age 78

Email

Barbara Hunter, whose horses raced throughout North America under her familiar red-and-black silks for more than 50 years, died Wednesday night at her Brownwood farm home just south of Lexington, Ky. She was 78.

A native of Montana, Hunter  became involved in the horse industry during the 1950s, after her adoptive mother, Mary H. Hunter, purchased Brownwood Farm. As a breeder, Hunter focused on developing productive female families, selling colts produced at the farm and keeping many of the fillies to race and eventually add them to her broodmare band.

Hunter owned horses that raced for years with the late Stanley Rieser, including Pattee Canyon, a winner of 18 races and six stakes in the late 1960s. Her most recent stars included Keertana, a fourth-generation Hunter mare and an earner of more than $1 million. Other stakes winners bred and owned by Hunter included Sans Arc, Duckweed, Harness Hitch, Dogtooth Violet, and Snow Top Mountain. Since 1996, her horses had won 14 stakes.

Hunter had no children, and Tom Proctor, her main trainer in recent years, said it is not yet known whether her heirs will continue to race her horses. Funeral arrangements were pending Thursday.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed Baraba Hunter's age as 89.