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Clarence Gaines; Dog Food Firm Founder

January 03, 1986|From Times Wire Services

WINTER PARK, Fla. — Clarence Francis Gaines, founder of the dog food firm that bears his name and a well-known breeder of horses, has died at his home here. He was 88.

Gaines, who died Tuesday, founded the company in 1928, introducing a complete dog meal product that he had perfected for his own pets.

"They were eating me out of house and home and not doing any good either," Gaines once said.

The concept of complete nutrients in a single package was credited with revolutionizing the dog food industry.

A native of Sherburne, N.Y., Gaines began to vacation in Orlando in 1921 with his father, a poultry and feed businessman who also bred and raced horses.

In 1944, Gaines founded the Gainesway Farm near Lexington, Ky., making it one of the world's ranking trotting-horse breeding farms. After he sold the farm in 1955, his Gainesway trotters and their descendants set records and won awards in America and Europe.

Gaines and his late wife, Amelia, began spending winters in Winter Park in 1948.

The Horsemen's magazine Man of the Year in 1982, Gaines received the Harness Tracks of America Messenger Award in 1985 for distinguished contributions and long service to the sport of harness racing. A director emeritus of the Lexington Trots Assn., he was a founder of the Vernon Downs Racetrack in Vernon, N.Y.

Besides horses and dogs, Gaines had extensive real estate holdings in central Florida.

His dog food firm was sold in 1943 to General Foods.

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