Donald E. “Donnie” Conrad, 66, of Corydon, Indiana, died Saturday, October 25, 2014, at University of Louisville Hospital. He was born March 11, 1948, in Corydon, to Charles E. Conrad and the late Bernice Barksdale Conrad. He was an owner, trainer, driver, and breeder of Standardbred horses, as well as a former member of the board of directors of the Kentucky Harness Horseman’s Association and a veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard. He was a member of the United States Trotting Association and Indiana Standardbred Association, of which he was also a multiple term board member.
Mr. Conrad spent a lifetime in the harness racing industry. Although he mainly competed in Indiana and Kentucky, he raced successfully at tracks throughout the country. Over the years, horses from the Conrad Stable could be found winning at venues from county fairs to major stakes at the pari-mutuel racetracks.
Beginning his driving career in 1977, Donnie drove his last race in 2001. During those years, he won 856 races and amassed $1,865,497 in earnings, before giving up driving when his son Charlie began his own driving career. One of Donnie’s most notable mounts, who last raced in 1984, was the good trotter, Cambro Pride. The gelding won $104,124, which, by today’s standards, would have been three to four times that amount. On the training side, he sent horses earning $765,603 to the track.
In more recent years, Mr. Conrad turned the racing stable duties over to his children and grandchildren. Once Donnie had given the horses their early lessons at the farm, they were sent to the racetrack with his youngest son, Charlie. The team campaigned horses like Big Boy Josh 4,1:54.4 ($449,246), Dirk Almahurst p,8,1:53.3 ($273,254), She’s Country 3,1:57.3 ($152,492), Speak p,11,1:51.3 ($232,529), and Super Rock 4,1:54.2 ($235,448), who is still racing for the Conrad Stable.
Donnie was also a family man who loved his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed attending their sporting events and, or course, teaching them the art of Conrad horsemanship. Some of his best times over the last few years were spent with his grandchildren on the family farm. He also enjoyed sharing ownership of horses with his grandson, Carson.
He was preceded in death by his mother and his grandparents, Elmer and Edna Conrad.
Survivors include his wife, Roselea Cannon Conrad; his father of Corydon; his sons, Charlie Conrad (Sarah) of McCordsville, Indiana and Chris Conrad of Cincinnati, Ohio; his brother, Ronnie Conrad (Rita) of Corydon, and his grandchildren, Carson, Carder, Elizabeth and Chris Conrad, Jr..
Visitation will be from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. Monday, October 27, 2014, at Beanblossom-Cesar Funeral Home in Corydon.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to have donations made to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, 3293 Wright Road, Laura, OH 45337. For more information, please call (937) 947-4020 or visit www.horseadoption.com.