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Legendary black horseman Junior Seay mourned



Lexington, Kentucky ­– William R. “Junior” Seay passed away Monday, December 5 after a long illness. 


Junior Seay was born in Lebanon, Tennessee on June 28, 1930 and lived in Akron, Ohio for 44 years.


When Seay was 12, his grandfather sent him to Albertville, Alabama to train horses for W.S. “Doc” Hewett.  There, Seay worked with such horses as Noble Knight and ponies Fireball, Chief’s Delight and Slick Chick.  After working with Hewett, Seay returned home shortly to work with his grandfather.  Then, Seay was recruited to work for the successful Saddlebred trainer Taft Johnson in Detroit, Michigan


While in Michigan, Seay met his wife of 51 years, Pauline. 


Seay earned a great reputation with trainer after trainer for developing young horses who went on to World’s Championships including CHPenny’s Stonewall, Feudist Star, Tambarina Supreme, Supreme Irene, CHSupreme Airs, CHGlamorous Lucretia, and many others. 


Seay used all of those great skills and experience to become the first black man to win a class at the Lexington Junior League Horse Show in 1970 with CHStonewall’s Crescendo in the Fine Harness Stallions and Geldings Stake. 


Preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, he leaves to cherish his memory his loving and devoted wife of 51 years, Pauline; daughters, Carol Seay, Connie Shinholster (Saleem) Abdul-Hakeem, Rosetta Peters and Barzella Seay; adopted son, Ronald Jackson; brothers, JB (DJ) of New Haven, Mich., Sammy Lee, Edward (Wilma), Kenneth, all of Bellwood, Tennessee; sisters, Juanita (Ralph) Payne of Haines City, Florida, Lucy Mae (George) Phillips, Cornelia Seay, all of Lebanon, Tennessee; nine grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and a host of other family members and friends.


Funeral services for Seay will be Friday, December 9 at 12 p.m. at Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home; interment at the Lakewood Cemetery.  Condolences may be sent to Springhill Apt., 1221 Everton Dr., Apt 910, Akron, OH 44307.  In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to Western Reserve Bank, c/o Junior Seay Memorial Fund, 4015 Medina Rd., Medina, OH 44256.     


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