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Harold Childs Passes

Harold L. Childs, 95, died Sunday, July 10, 2005 in Randolph, Vermont.

Following high school graduation, Harold began his life’s work, training horses. He was manager and trainer for Oscar Smith’s Carolanne Farm in Norfolk, Virginia; Emerald Farm in Ohio; Russell Law in Maryland; and George Huss’s Valley Farm in Ringtown, Pennsylvania, before moving to Vermont to establish his own training stable at Harolyn Hill.

In 1952, Mr. Childs married Marilyn Carlson. In 1962, the couple moved their farm to Chelsea, which is the burial site of Justin Morgan. Many horses were sent to Mr. Childs for training on his farm. He judged horse shows in 26 states and Canada. He showed several world champion Saddlebreds at the Kentucky State Fair and was known for his ability to make a five-gaited champion. One of the most notable horses he trained and showed was the many-time champion, Genius Firefly. He also showed some top park Morgans, including Trophy’s Keepsake.

Several Morgan as well as Saddlebred trainers got their start under Mr. Childs, among them Joe Parker, Richard Boulé, and Désirée DeVries. He was a true Southern gentleman who was liked and respected by all.

Upon his retirement at the end of the 1982 show season, Mr. Childs earned awards to the Hall of Fame by the United Professional Horsemen’s Association in 1985 and the Walk of Honor at the American Saddlebred Museum in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1997 he was honored with the Golden Reins Award from AMHA.

In 1992, he was honored at the Chelsea Sports Banquet for his devotion to high school sports. Since that time, the Harold Childs Award is given each year to those dedicated to the sports program.

Mr. Childs is survived by his wife, Marilyn; four sons, Harold, David, Robert, and Carl; and ten grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Visiting Nurse Alliance of Vermont and New Hampshire, Randolph Chapter, 46 South Main Street, White River Junction, Vermont 05001; the First Branch Ambulance, P.O. Box 74, Chelsea, Vermont 05038; or Hunt Cemetery Association, c/o Bertha Delano, 643 VT Rt. 11, Tunbridge, Vermont 05077.

(from The American Morgan Horse Association)

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