Carwood, a native of Ireland, previously worked for trainers Eddie Kenneally and Jeff Thornberry as an assistant trainer before going out on his own about four years ago. He signed his KHBPA membership card in 2010, his first year as a trainer.
“I talked with Jeff Thornbury, and Keeneland’s Chaplain, Bobby Aldridge, and both had high praise for Gerry, his work ethic and his love for his horses,” said Marty Maline, executive director of the KHBPA. “In fact, Gerry, who lives in a house next to the barn, nearly lost his own life rushing into the fire. He saved two horses, just before the roof collapsed.
“I talked with Gerry and expressed the condolences of the KHBPA for his tragic loss,” continued Maline, who added that Carwood also lost all of his tack and equipment in the fire.
Some of the horses, who Carwood described as like family to him, were insured by clients and others were not. Carwood did not own any of the horses, but the funds will help him buy new equipment and get back to training.
“The HBPA, both at the national and state level, has always been about horsemen helping horsemen, and this is a great example of that,” said Phil Hanrahan, CEO of the National HBPA. “We wish Gerry the best after this tragic event.”
Other horsemen also pitched in to help Carwood with a benefit at McCarthy’s Irish Bar in downtown Lexington.
The National HBPA Foundation (NHBPAF), a tax-exempt Sec. 501 (c)(3) fund, was developed as a safety net for horsemen when other forms of assistance are unavailable or have been exhausted after disaster strikes.
|(From left) Marty Maline, executive director of the Kentucky HBPA; trainer Gerry Carwood; and Phil Hanrahan, CEO of the National HBPA (Photo by Laura Plato, NHBPA)|