View Full Version : Tony Ray
03-12-2008, 05:58 PM
I just read on SHR site that Tony Ray died today. Does anyone have any info? I had a good talk with him at the UPHA convention and he was so proud when his dad, Junior Ray was inducted into the hall of fame. This is very sad.
03-12-2008, 06:04 PM
That is terrible news! I had heard last week he was in the hospital but don't know exactly what was going on. My condolences go out to his family and customers.
03-12-2008, 07:19 PM
I simply can not beleive this!
To say Tony was a great guy just does not even begin to decsribe him. Always with a smile on his face and a joke to tell I will remember him with the greatest of memories.
We have lost someone truly special today. my prayers go out to Laura and all his family. we will miss him terribly.
03-12-2008, 07:32 PM
From what I heard Tony was in the hospital last week with kidney failure and was on dialysis. He went in this afternoon for treatmennt and had a massive heart attack. My heart goes out to his family and Laura for their loss.
Brendan would know more details Im sure.
03-12-2008, 07:39 PM
I just talked to someone who knows Junior Ray - I guess it was kidney/renal failure. He had been in the hospital, then sent home, then this....
03-12-2008, 08:07 PM
Oh no......my thoughts are with Laura and his family.
Barbara B Bacon
03-12-2008, 08:27 PM
Larry and I are heart sick for this loss. Such a nice person and family. Having lost a son, we do truely feel Jr's pain. The family and friends, at the convention, were so wonderful to see and enjoy. Please know they are now in our thoughts and prayers for peace and understanding.
03-12-2008, 09:02 PM
OMg.. It's so unbelievable. I am just sick about it. Tony was such a sweet,loveable person. I am so sorry for your loss Jr Ray.. He was a great friend, a wonderful horse trainer and a lot of fun to be around. ALways laughing and having fun.. His friends family, Jr ray and laura.. words can't express how shocked and sadden we are what a loss.
You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
03-12-2008, 09:31 PM
I think that those of you who said you were in a state of shock sum up the feelings of everyone here in the upper Midwest region who have known Tony (and his parents Junior & Louise Ray) for so many years. Tony was not only the owner of Stoneridge Stables which had recently relocated to Ringwood, IL along with his fiance and associate Laura Fulton, a WC equitation rider before going professional.
We're not really sure what happened other than there were some complications with the dialysis he was receiving and the ultimate result ended with his very unexpected and premature passing at the young age of 37.
In addition to his own accomplishments, most notably the win with CH Steel in Love in the 3 year old harness mare class at Louisville and other wins, Tony was also an extended member of Dick & Jeanette Durant's Bell View Acres where he spent his entire youth going to work with his Dad, Junior.
03-13-2008, 05:43 AM
I am just sick over his death - such a funny, bright, talented trainer taken from us way too soon. :sad:
03-13-2008, 07:49 AM
We watched Tony grow from a fun loving little boy into a fun loving man. His big smile and love of life will always be remembered. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Junior, Louise, Laura, and to all of his extended family.
Rex and Shirley
03-13-2008, 09:00 AM
Oh no!! I didn't know Tony well, but I spent some time with him a few years ago when he was in Kentucky and in center ring when he judged one of the KASPHA shows. He was a gentle man, and a delight to talk with. I am so sad that I won't have that opportunity again.
My deepest sympathy to his family.
03-13-2008, 09:08 AM
Tony was amazing he helped me so much when i was young and riding at the durants I am so shocked! Everyone is so right if you met even only once he left a lasting impression that will never be forgotten. Junior and his wife are so amazing this just breaks my heart. Godspeed Tony you will be greatly missed
This is devastating news. I had spoken with Tony a few times and have visited with his father, who is my idol in a harness buggy, on many occasions. Tony's drive of the three-year-old filly at Louisville was one of the most memorable moments in Saddlebred history. Like so many others, I was driving and bouncing every step with him because his magnetic personality somehow invited all of us to share the joy and glory with him.
Words are inadequate to express my sorrow and sympathy to his family. I'm am so very sorry.
-- Bill Marple
03-13-2008, 12:29 PM
There will never be another one like him----what a great loss---Lynn & Chuck
03-13-2008, 12:44 PM
From all of us at DeLovely, our thoughts and prayers to the Ray family, and all who knew and loved Tony. What a tragedy, he will be sorely missed.
03-13-2008, 01:45 PM
I have few words to express my shock and sadness over the loss of this special person. What is left of my breaking heart goes out to Laura, Junior and the Ray Family. Tony was my friend, and I cared about him very much. I will miss his contagious giggle, his beaming smile, and his enduring friendship. Through the years, he believed in me when I didn't believe in myself; he pushed me outside my comfort zone, and he made me a better rider and a better person. He was there when we needed him. There will never be another guy like Tony Ray. Godspeed, buddy, we love you and miss you very much...
I heard about Tony this morning. It has broken my heart and my daughter's heart. I first met Tony in 1990 when he worked for Frank McConnell. He was so good with my daughter's equitation horse. My daughter had just started out in UPHA 10 and under Walk and Trot. Tony was also great with my daughter at that time.
My deepest condolences to the family and friends.
03-13-2008, 03:03 PM
Too young, way too young. Tony helped me so much w/ my mare when I couldn't afford training, he let me trailer in for lessons. That is they kind of guy he was. I saw him in Kentucky back at the end of January, I am thankful that I went up and talked to him vs. waiting to see him 'later'. Amen to that. Lesson, never wait 'til 'later' - cherish people now. Just like our horses, every day we have eachother is a blesssing.
03-13-2008, 03:40 PM
That is correct. I spoke to his fiancÚs earlier today and she said Tony passed yesterday. I don't know all the details. She said she thought the funeral was going to be this Saturday in Joliet. His parents were still working through the details.
Our family is just heart sicken by this news. Tony trained myself and both of our children, one daughter 11 and the other boy is 7. They both thought and still do think he walks on water. His love of horses, life and the gift he passed on to my two children; well words just can't express our lost.
Our deepest sympathy to his parents and Laura.
03-13-2008, 04:25 PM
I have no words. I think everyone loved Tony. Life is so unfair.
03-13-2008, 05:18 PM
I heard of Tony's passing earlier today and it was a shock. I've met Tony several times at shows or when he went to Bell View to visit Junior. I didn't know him well but I never saw him without a smile on his face.
My deepest sympathies are with Junior, his family, and Laura.
03-13-2008, 08:21 PM
Funeral Arrangements for Tony are as follows:
Tony C. Ray
Monday, March 17th
9AM - 11AM Visitation
11AM Funeral Mass/Home Going Service
at St Paul MB Church
1404 Briggs Street
@ Dick & Jeanette Durant's
Bell View Acres
13728 Bell Road
Homer Glen, IL
Friends of the family have asked if people wish to contribute towards the funeral expenses to direct your checks to Jeanette Durant and she will see that Junior and Louise Ray, Tony's parents, receive the funds.
For out of town guests,
v 30 rooms have been blocked at the Empress Hotel 2200 Empress Drive, Joliet IL at a rate of $49 per night. Guests must call by Saturday to reserve room. (815) 744-9400
v 15 Rooms have been blocked at the Fairfield Inn 1501 Riverboat Center Dr, Joliet, IL at a rate of $85 per night. Guests must call by Saturday to reserve room. 815-741-3499
v 25 Rooms have been blocked at the Holiday Inn Joliet 411 South Larkin Ave, Joliet, IL at a rate of $79 per night. Guests must call by Saturday to reserve room. 815-729-2000
03-13-2008, 11:15 PM
Thanks Brendan for sharing.....those of us that are just shocked and heartsick appreciate the info.....thoughts and prayers are with "turbos" family .....
03-14-2008, 09:37 AM
Just as an FYI for the information I posted
The Church "St Paul's MB" stands for St. Paul's Missionary Baptist. And it's 1404 South Briggs
03-14-2008, 09:42 AM
It breaks my heart to hear this... I bought a horse from Tony at Tattersalls a few years ago and he didn't know its nick name so we named him after Tony because he was so nice to me. The world has lost such a wonderful person. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family
03-14-2008, 11:26 AM
I'm just sick over this. Such a loss at such a young age. Shows here in the midwest won't be the same without him. He will be dearly missed. He was always good for a laugh or a joke even on the worst days!
My condolences go out to Junior, Louise and to Laura.
PS: Maybe someone should print the threads from here and Modern-Saddlebred up to give to his parents and Laura, so they know just how much everyone around the country supports them in this time of need and grief. It might be nice for them to have the knowlege that he touched so many lives, and will never be forgotten.
My deepest condolences to all who loved Tony. He was a great guy and I will miss him. He helped me out alot and I will never forget him. My heartbreaks for his family.:sad:
03-15-2008, 04:02 PM
I would like to thank everyone for their kind words about Tony. He really was a one of a kind man. He had a smile you could see from miles away. He was the love of my life and I miss him more then I can even begin to say with words. It is great to read about all the people that he touched.
03-17-2008, 07:16 PM
i will never forget Tony Ray showing Steel In Love at Louisville. What a shame.
03-18-2008, 12:30 AM
This is someone I never has a chance to meet , but it is more than apparent in all of these posts that it was my loss for not getting to know such a wonderful young man. He was obviously an incredible, generous person and my heart goes out to his family and everyone who will miss him. I am so sorry, he was far too young and had so much to give.
03-19-2008, 02:59 PM
I should have posted this the other day, but I've been so busy playing "catch up" as I was out of town last weekend, then returning for Tony's funeral on Monday.
I have to say, the service was highly charged and emotional. Fantastic singing and some really touching words were read by a couple of the preachers, as well as "our own" Jay Wood, Pat McConnell, Lynn Durant and Margaret Durant Koreman. Tony's brother, Willie Ray, spoke and fought back the tears in a losing battle. That was tough. Tony's mom was able to get up and say a few words to everyone finding the strength somewhere amid her height of emotion.
There had to be 300-350 people in that church on Monday morning. Huge turnout.
A lovely luncheon at the Durant's Bell View Acres followed in a tribute to Tony's life and his family. Kudos to the ladies of Bell View Acres (especially Kathy Weems, Kim Guisfredi, Amanda Wroble, Natalie Udell, and many others) who scrubbed down the place with the short notice and set up an elaborate setting inside the "Hall of Champions" at the Durants' barn.
Just posted as an FYI for those who were unable to attend. P.S. It was great to see so many of Tony's buddies in attendance, even many of his peer group from the young trainers in KY.
I think that an effort is underway to get a class sponsored at Louisville in Tony's name. I believe it is the Three Year old Fine Harness Mare Stake which Tony won with CH Steel in Love in 2000. More on that to follow.
03-20-2008, 01:27 AM
Im Sorry I Missed It. Thanks For The Details Bren.
03-24-2008, 04:59 PM
I'm so sad to hear of Tony's passing. I keep remembering the time he hid on the horse van, as a little boy and skipped school, so he wouldn't miss even one day of the ST. Charles horse show. Everyone who knew Tony loved him. My deepest condolences to his entire family and all of his many friends. May the gentle hand of God touch our hearts with peace.
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