Tuesday, May. 28, 2024

DAVID BRUCE HAYNES

David Bruce Haynes, longtime member of the National Steeplechase Association, died unexpectedly on Jan. 24 at his farm in Bristol, Tenn. He was 46.

Mr. Haynes was born in Bristol, Tenn., and remained in the area all of his life. In his youth, he competed in the hunter and jumper divisions throughout the Southeast with childhood friend Michael Berryman. Berryman, a trainer in Johnson City, Tenn., shared and trained many horses with Mr. Haynes during his racing career.

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David Bruce Haynes, longtime member of the National Steeplechase Association, died unexpectedly on Jan. 24 at his farm in Bristol, Tenn. He was 46.

Mr. Haynes was born in Bristol, Tenn., and remained in the area all of his life. In his youth, he competed in the hunter and jumper divisions throughout the Southeast with childhood friend Michael Berryman. Berryman, a trainer in Johnson City, Tenn., shared and trained many horses with Mr. Haynes during his racing career.

With his wife, Anne, Mr. Haynes established and operated his family farm, Holston Hollow, producing flat track and steeplechase horses. Two of his three sons—Russell Bruce, 20, William Parker, 17—are jockeys on the NSA circuit, and his third son, David Aaron, is also active in steeplechasing.

Mr. Haynes was 17th in lifetime earnings on the NSA circuit, with his horses having earned $1,592,452. He finished 10th in the money-won standings in 2007, with his horses having earned $114,600. Haynes-trained horses made 98 starts on the NSA circuit in 2007, third-highest total to Jonathan Sheppard and Jack Fisher.

While Mr. Haynes saddled many winners, his most famous horse was Vesta Balestiere’s Rowdy Irishman, a two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Steeplechase. He purchased the bay gelding for $1,500, and “Rowdy” went on to earn $644,050, which stands fifth in the NSA record books. In addition to winning the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup in 1995 and ’97, Rowdy Irishman topped the Grade 1 Iroquois Steeplechase (Tenn.) in 1998 and ’99.

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 “Bruce loved life, and he loved spending time with his family,” Berryman said. “He was a kind man, and no one could say something wrong about him.”

In addition to his passion for horses, Mr. Haynes was also an active member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Bristol, Va., an outdoorsman, and an avid snow skier.

Mr. Haynes was preceded in death by his sister, Valerie Lynn Haynes. Survivors include his wife, Anne Oldfield Haynes; his three sons; parents, David Saunders and Alethia Parker Haynes; and his sister, Parker Haynes Minchin, Southern Pines, N.C.

Memorial contributions may be sent to an animal charity of choice or to Rivers Way Outdoor Center, 889 Stoney Hollow Rd., Bluff City, TN 37618.   

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