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Joe Stopher Mourned

(From the American Saddlebred Horse Association)

Lexington, Kentucky ­– Longtime American Saddlebred benefactor Joe Stopher, 91, of Louisville, Kentucky, died Thursday April 27, 2006 at Baptist Hospital East.


He was a retired senior partner of the law firm of Boehl, Stopher & Graves, LLP, and a former president of The Gheens Foundation, a member of the Kentucky and American Bar Associations, National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, International Association of Insurance Counsel, and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, a former member of the Kentucky State Fair Board, and a former director of Liberty-United Bancorp. He served as former trustee of Georgetown College and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


Stopher was the Kentucky State Fair Board Member in Charge of the World’s Championship Horse Show from 1968 to 1996; in that time, the show grew in size and prestige.  He also served as a member of the American Saddlebred Horse Association Board of Directors, and as legal counsel for the Association.  He was also a member of the board of directors for both the American Horse Shows Association (now United States Equestrian Federation) and American Saddlebred Museum.


He was inducted into the Kentucky State Fair Horse Show Hall of Fame in 1984.  In 1990, he was honored by the American Saddlebred Horse Association with the C.J. Cronan Sportsmanship Award.  The United Professional Horseman’s Association recognized Stopher with the Distinguished Service Award.  In 1994, the Kentucky State Fair honored Stopher by naming the famous chute, which some of the world’s greatest horses walk down before showing off on the green shavings of the World’s Championship Horse Show, Stopher Walk. 


He is survived by his wife, the former Marie Estes; daughter, Ann Stopher Dalzell; sons, Edward H. and Robert E. Stopher; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.


Memorials to Schepens Eye Research Institute, 20 Staniford St., Boston, MA 02114, or the Joseph E. Stopher Scholarship Fund, University of Louisville Foundation Inc., Louisville, KY 40292.


Parts used from the Louisville Courier-Journal, published April 29, 2006.


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