Heavy hearts were prevalent at Arlington International Racecourse on Thursday.
Bruce Duchossois, a well-known figure in American eventing and son of Arlington chairman Richard L. Duchossois, died Wednesday at the age of 64 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
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Bruce Duchossois was a partner in Phillip Dutton's True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pa., and had his own facility in Aiken, S.C. He was an accomplished rider and one of the country's leading exhibitors in the adult amateur hunter division.
"He was a fantastic horseman," said Arlington trainer Louie Roussel III. "He could ride and show horses. He was a wonderful individual."
Duchossois began riding hunters in the 1960s and piloted his horse Kim's Song to a National Horse Shows Association Horse of the Year title.
He owned Connaught, who won the 2008 edition of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, and his Mighty Nice was recently named as a reserve to the American eventing team at the upcoming World Equestrian Games.
"He was a fine individual and a wonderful horseman," Roussel added. "He knew his horses and could ride them himself. There wasn't anything he couldn't do in eventing. I'm so sorry for Mr. D's (Richard Duchossois) loss."
Bruce Duchossois was also a trustee in the U.S. Eventing Team Foundation, a member of the board of directors for the National Horse Show Association and a member of the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association.
He was a lifetime member of the United States Equestrian Federation, American Quarter Horse Association and the U.S. Eventing Association.
"He was very outgoing and polite," said Arlington trainer Frank Kirby, who won titles in 1974 and 2004. "A real class guy. He loved what he was doing. He was a really accomplished horseman and real nice guy who will be missed."
"It was a pleasure to know him," added Chief State Steward Eddie Arroyo, a former jockey at Arlington Park. "Not only was he a tremendous horseman with a tremendous eye for horses, he was an exceptional human being."