01/11/2017 1:36PM

Rouk, well-known figure at Keeneland auctions, dies at 79

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Dale Stewart Rouk, a member of the Keeneland sales team for more than 40 years until his retirement in 2009, died Jan. 1 in Burleson, Texas. He was 79.

Rouk was a well-known fixture at Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse auctions across the U.S. during his career. While working at The Quarter Horse Journal in Amarillo, Texas, Rouk met prominent auctioneer and former Keeneland director of auctions Tom Caldwell, and later became partners in the California-based Caldwell-Heerman Sales Company.

Rouk also served as sales manager of the Ruidoso Horse Sale Company in New Mexico.

“Dale’s real passion was working the [auction] ring,” said Keeneland auctioneer Scott Caldwell, son of the late Tom Caldwell. “Dale was always full of passion not only for the horse, but the consignor and buyer alike. He committed his life to that passion.”

In addition to his career with Keeneland, Rouk worked for Ocala Breeders Sales Co. and numerous American Quarter Horse auctions.

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“Dale was a special member of the Keeneland family, and his expertise through the decades helped to establish Keeneland as the world’s leading sales company,” said Keeneland president and CEO Bill Thomason.

A native of Beggs, Okla., Rouk was a founding member of the Panhandle Team Penners Association of Amarillo. He was twice named Breeder of the Year by the Texas Thoroughbred Association.