Cot Campbell Passes Away

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Cot Campbell | Christie DeBernardis

Lifelong horseman W. Cothran Campbell passed away Saturday afternoon at his home in Aiken, South Carolina. He was 91. The founder of Dogwood Stable, and widely considered the progenitor of present day racing partnerships, Campbell developed the reputation of turning modestly priced horses into winners.

Born Sept. 27, 1927 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Campbell began syndicating horses in 1969 shortly before launching the Dogwood partnership in Georgia. Based in Aiken, South Carolina since the mid-1980s, Dogwood Stable became irrevocably bound to the Palmetto State through the decades. With over 80 stakes wins to its credit, Dogwood campaigned a bevy of graded stakes winners, including Classic winners Palace Malice (Curlin), winner of the 2013 GI Belmont S., and 1990 GI Preakness S. hero Summer Squall (Storm Bird). Additionally, Dogwood developed a pair of champions–the outstanding juvenile filly of 1996 Storm Song and Inlander, 1987 American Steeplechase Horse of the Year. The operation also raced Grade I winners Nassipour (Blushing Groom {Fr}) and Southjet (Northjet {Ire}) and graded scorers Smok’n Frolic (Smoke Glacken), Limehouse (Grand Slam), Trippi (End Sweep) and Aikenite (Yes It’s True).

Campbell, who was honored as a ‘Pillar of the Turf’ during his induction to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs this past August, has amassed an impressive string of honors and accomplishments during a career that spans a half century. A member of The Jockey Club, Campbell was the 2004 Thoroughbred Club of America’s Honored Guest and that same season, was a Saratoga Walk of Fame honoree. He was the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce’s Man of the Year in 2006 and the following year, was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame. Awarded an Eclipse Award of Merit in 2012, he was named the Aiken Standard Person of the Year in 2013.

“I’m honored to be a Pillar of the Turf and I’m flabbergasted to be a Pillar of the Turf,” Campbell said during his Hall of Fame induction in August. “Much of my superb life is due to racing horses…I am probably the only person in this building-or maybe this town-who ever saw Man o’ War. I want to thank Man o’ War because he lit the fuse that caused me to pursue this wonderful life.”

Following almost five decades in operation and having conveyed over 1,200 partners through the Dogwood partnership, Campbell sold the operation’s stable client list in 2013 to Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. However, he continued to campaign horses in subsequent years.

“I’ve had an absolutely wonderful life,” Campbell told the Aiken Standard in May. “A hell of a lot of it is due to the lady I married [Ann Campbell]. And a hell of a lot of it is due to the horses. My career in racing has taken me to Japan and Dubai, and all over Europe. I’ve done business with the Aga Khan, Queen Elizabeth and Sheikh Mohammed. My life has been adventurous, glamorous, exciting and tumultuous. And no one could be more aware of it and more appreciative.”

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