Russell Frey and Nina Moore's Kodachrome after winning the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo by Sportfot
Batavia, IL - May 27, 2016 – Memories and prayers for rider and trainer Russell Frey, 56, of Batavia, Illinois, flowed across social media today as friends learned of his sudden death. Frey was in the barn at Lamplight Equestrian Center on Thursday, getting a saddle to ride his derby horse when he collapsed. On-lookers, including Nina Moore, owner of Lamplight, said they started CPR until the medics arrived, but there was nothing more that could be done to save Frey.
He had just completed a successful Winter Equestrian Festival assisting Kelly Farmer and Larry Glefke of Lane Change Farm. Frey finished the season earning the top honors in the USHJA $50,000 International Hunter Derby aboard Moore’s Kodachrome. Frey started the horse on a winning streak, earning blue ribbons in the USHJA National Hunter Derby at Equifest II and the Showplace Fall Classic in 2015, with a second place finish in the Award Winning Chicago Hunter Derby’s National Hunter Derby.
By WEF 7, they had moved up to earn the Reserve Championship in the First Year Green and the High Performance Working Hunters. They wrapped up WEF 12 winning both rounds and the overall of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Nichole Hiehle and Lovely Charity with Russell Frey.
In addition, Frey trained Nicole Hiehle to numerous championships in the amateur owner division with Lovely Charity. The pair won at top shows across the country including WEF and Indoors and concluded the 2015 show season as USEF’s Amateur Owner Horse of the Year.
Frey had also been known to show up at top AQHA shows including the Quarter Horse Congress and World Championships, to school top quarter horse riders. Lydia Frey, Best Junior Handler at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Photo by Congleton Photogrpahy.
Frey’s has a daughter with International show jumper Kim Prince, Lydia, who is as successful in the dog show world as her parents are in the horse world. Lydia earned top accolades as Best Junior Handler in the 2015 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, among other prestigious titles in the dog show world. Russell and daughter, Lydia.
Frey was originally from Akron, New York. Beloved father of Lydia Frey; son of Harold and Beth; brother of James and Susan, Steven and Barbara, Paul and Sharol Martell and Harold Jr (Skip) and Kimberly.The family will be present to receive family and friends on Tuesday, May 31 from 9:30 am to 12 pm and at a memorial service at 12 pm at the Clarence Church of Christ at 5375 Old Goodrich Rd, Clarence, NY. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to either the Clarence Church of Christ or the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center.
No word on services at this time.
Visit his Facebook
page to see the memories shared by his family and friends and photos of the many horses he showed during his career. Our sympathies to his family and friends.