Award-winning journalist Dan Farley dies aged 72

Dan Farley

Dan Farley: much-loved former American correspondent

DAN FARLEY, the Racing Post’s long-serving and much-loved former American correspondent, died on Friday in hospital in Mechanicsville, Virginia. He was 72.

Farley, based for much of his life with wife Betsy in Lexington, Kentucky, was one of the original members of staff when the first edition of the Racing Post was published in April 1986. He retired from his full-time role after more than 25 years of diligent, dedicated work in July 2010.

Farley started out in the editorial department at The Blood-Horse in 1971 and later assisted the late William H. P. Robertson in 1974 in compiling a book on the first 100 years of The Thoroughbred Record entitled Hoofprints Of A Century.

Farley worked as staff writer, managing editor and editor at the Record until 1982, then covered American racing for Pacemaker International from 1982 to 1985 and later worked for the International Racing Bureau. President of the US trade body, the National Turf Writers’ Association (NTWA) from 1982-86, he was also a former president of American Horse Publications.

In 2009, Farley received a major accolade for career excellence in turf writing when he was awarded the NTWA’s annual Walter Haight Award, named in honour of the former Washington Post turf writer and columnist.

Farley, who always considered himself blessed to have worked in the sport he loved, will be hugely missed by his multitudes of friends in the industry both in North America and Britain.

At his retirement dinner in Lexington after the 2010 Breeders’ Cup, he said: “I have been very fortunate to do what I love most – follow thoroughbred racing. I’ve seen some of the best years of US racing with the likes of Secretariat, Forego, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, Ruffian and, years later, Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra.

“And the people I’ve worked with on both sides of the Atlantic have been among the best as well. How lucky can you get?”


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