RIP Lawyer Ron - A Stud in His Time
It's not everyday that an attorney is called an unequivocal champion, delivers eight major wins over the course of a few years, nets nearly $3M in earnings---and struts on all fours. Lawyer Ron was one special counselor and following the announcement of his passing last week after complications from colic surgery, we take a moment to salute him.
Lawyer Ron accomplished all of his feats without ever stepping into a court room, or into a law school for that matter. This winner of 12 career races was one of the most celebrated older racehorses to come out of Kentucky. Named after his guardian and breeder's longtime friend and attorney, Ron Bamberger, Lawyer Ron won major title races including Risen Star at the Fair Grounds, the Rebel and the Arkansas Derby before the 2006 Kentucky Derby. And thought he may not have taken the Kentucky Bar, he proved to be an expert at racehorse exams nonetheless.
But as is true of many celebrities, of the esquire brand or otherwise, Lawyer Ron did not live his short six years without controversy. Following the death of his guardian and campaign director, James T. Hines, Jr., it was Lawyer Ron's namesake (i.e. Lawyer Ron Bamberger) who stepped in to manage the All-American thoroughbred in the capacity of executor of Hines' estate. Not to be outdone, Stonewall Stallions Farm purchased an eighty percent interest in Lawyer Ron just days before the much-anticipated 2006 Kentucky Derby. Perhaps it was the stress of shifts in management or grief of having lost his guardian, but the expected favorite did not deliver and took 12th in the race. He would come back in full force the following year to win the coveted Whitney and Woodward Stakes.
A legal battle ensued between Lawyer Ron, the non-equine, and the farm for control of the racehorse's career, with a Kentucky court ultimately ruling in the attorney's favor.
And, what of his personality? "Not only was he a superior racehorse, but his physical presence and contagious personality captivated everyone that saw him" said the manager of Stonewall Stallions.
In times when lawyer jokes run aplenty and it can be hard to find heroes in the field, Lawyer Ron has set a high bar for attorneys worldwide. We hope to learn from all he accomplished in his short time. Lawyer Ron was also euthanized. Following in his hooves on that point, not so much.