Skip to content

The Passing of a Legend - Redd Crabtree


It is with a heavy heart that the Board of the American Saddlebred Horse Association announces the passing of a true legend, Redd Crabtree, 79. Crabtree brought an enormous amount of integrity and fairness to everything he did, including his service to the ASHA and the United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA).
A 1993 inductee into the World’s Championship Horse Show Hall of Fame and a 1994 member of the Tom Moore UPHA Hall of Fame, as well as the 2010 ASHA Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Crabtree was honored just last march with induction into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, the first show horse trainer to be recognized.
Crabtree has either personally won or been the trainer of winners of every five-gaited class offered at the World’s Championship Horse Show, including three times the winner of the Five-Gaited World’s Grand Championship with CHWill Shriver in 1976, CHCora’s Time in 1978 and (SA) Zovoorbij Commander In Chief in 1997. He has also won the Five-Gaited Stallion World’s Championship a record nine times with six different horses: Chief Of Greystone (twice), CHWill Shriver (three times), Callaway’s Wish Me Will, Callaway’s Gold Rush, (SA) Zovoorbij Commander In Chief, and Callaway’s Bluesman.
In addition to training and showing hundreds of World’s Champions, Crabtree also followed the footsteps of his Hall of Fame parents, Charles and Helen Crabtree, as a breeder of World’s Champions. A few of his notables are the great five-gaited horse CHSwish and the twice World’s Champion Supreme Heir who went on to be one of the top sires in history.

 “There have been a lot of extremely talented horsemen in our breed, but few have possessed the qualities that Redd brought to the table,” said incoming ASHA President Bob Funkhouser. “He was not only a leader in the training barn and show ring, he also served as a statesman for our industry and a mentor and friend to many. He was a man of great conviction and wasn’t afraid to fight or speak for what he believed was right.”
“It is a very sad day in our American Saddlebred Association office. We are not only experiencing the passing of a great Hall of Fame World’s Grand Champion, but a great contributor to our association and industry. His wisdom and thoughtfulness will live forever. Great champions seem to always possess a significance in our lives, I find it ironic that these greatest of the great seem to leave us at the same time in their passing. Redd Crabtree, January 19, 2015 and CHWing Commander, January 19, 1969. Our heartfelt thoughts are with Nancy, Casey, and Sabra,” reflected ASHA Executive Director, Bill Whitley.

Crabtree is survived by his wife Nancy and children Casey, Susan and Ann.

More Stories

  • **Updated Event Cancellations

    Saddle Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse events. Read More
  • A Blast From The Past

    Saddle Horse Report is pleased to bring you a series of past feature stories on some of the greats of our sport. Please enjoy this walk down memory lane. Read More
  • Future Forum: The Up and Coming of Young Trainers

    Enjoy the first in a series on young trainers! Read More
  • Foals N Focus – Week Nine

    In this, our next to last week of the #foalsNfocus photo contest, the bar was really raised with several quality shots submitted. Once again, the “hope” of foals is what many in this country need with so much unrest... Read More
  • Dr. Scott Bennett Remembered

    Thursday, June 4th is a sad day in the American Saddlebred/Hackney/Morgan show world as Dr. Scott Bennett, a 2017 inductee into the World’s Championship Horse Show Hall of Fame, lost his brave battle with cancer... Read More
  • Class of 2020 Yearbook

    Saddle Horse Report presents the Class of 2020 Yearbook. We are proud to feature some of the 2020 graduates who are and will be a major force in the show horse industry. We know their talent and perseverance will help carry them on to many successes ahead. Read More
  • Time to Nominate

    Do you know a UPHA member that should be acknowledged not only for their success in the show ring but also their contributions to UPHA and our industry? Nominate them for the 2020 UPHA Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement awards by June 15, 2020. Read More
  • From the Desk of Marty Schaffel: Data Points Are Telling

    When I get ready to leave the house for the day, I am checking the data points regarding the weather before I leave so I know what I need for the day.  Those data points are: What is the temperature? Is it raining or going to rain? Is there a strong wind? Is it humid? And so on.   Read More
  • Summer Dreams Reopens Show Season

    Katy Texas was the site of the first show back in business after the pandemic brought a sudden halt to all normal activities, including horse shows. May Chadick and her team at Vantage Point Stables did a great job of providing exhibitors a chance at normalcy with all of the safety protocols in place.  Read More
  • Ten Years Ago - Connecticut Morgan

    Plans for the 60th anniversary of the Connecticut Morgan Horse Show are on hold until next year. While we miss being there this week, let’s take a look back at some of the highlights from the 50th anniversary in 2010. Read More