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Martha Farish Gerry, 88; owner and breeder of horse of the year Forego

September 20, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Martha Farish Gerry, 88, chairwoman emeritus of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame's board of trustees and the owner and breeder of three-time horse of the year Forego, died Monday after heart surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

Gerry, a thoroughbred owner for 65 years, bred and owned Forego, a Hall of Fame horse that in 57 starts won 34, placed in nine, and came in third seven times in the 1970s. The gelding was voted the Eclipse award for horse of the year for 1974, '75 and '76. Forego was euthanized in 1997.

A resident of Mill Neck, N.Y., Gerry last month became the first woman named an Exemplar of Racing by the Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. In 1983, Gerry, Allaire du Pont and Penny Chenery were the first three women elected to the Jockey Club.

Gerry was born in Houston and graduated from Vassar College in 1940. Gerry's father, oilman William Stamps Farish, founded Lazy F Ranch in Texas. When he died unexpectedly in 1942, Gerry and her mother, Libbie Rice Farish, took over the thoroughbred racing stable.

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