Robert L. Smith Sr.
Hyde Park - Robert L. Smith Sr. (Bob), 87, passed away on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at his home, Netherwood Acres, his beloved horse farm. Born on July 29, 1927 in Saugerties, he was the son of the late Leon and Clare Finger Smith.
At the age of ten, Bob began his long illustrious career when he took tourists from the city on trail rides into the Catskill Mountains. He studied agriculture and veterinary science and played on the Polo Squad at Cornell University for two years before leaving to strike out on his own and pursue his dreams in the horse business. Early in his career, Bob was involved in the breeding program for the Remount Service, which provided horses for the U.S. Calvary during and after World War II. Bob also once trained a horse named Holy Smoke to jump through a ring of fire for the Disney movie Run Appaloosa Run.
He acquired Netherwood Acres in 1951 and brought the farm through many aspects of the horse business including many wins with his thoroughbred race horses to foxhunting throughout the east coast. Bob was a member of the Rombout and Millbrook Hunts since the early 1950's, and, over the years, his students of all ages rode in horse shows, hunter trials, hunter paces and foxhunting.
Bob is survived by his children, Lee Ann Michael, Robert L. Smith Jr., and Kristen C. Smith; grandson, Liam Z. Smith; brothers, Claire and David Smith; several nieces and nephews; cousins, Dale Martin and Laura Shea; former wife, Kathy Herzing; and step-daughters, Natalie Smith and Sarah Filler.
Bob was predeceased by his wife, Lisa S. Smith, and former wife, JoAnn Sauer Smith Moses.
In keeping with Bob's wishes, cremation has taken place.
Memorial calling hours will be from 3 to 5 pm, Sunday, February 22nd at Sweet's Funeral Home, Inc., Rte. 9, Hyde Park. A family celebration of Bob's life will conclude the calling hours.
A ceremony to scatter Bob's ashes on his beloved horse farm will take place in the Spring.
Bob's family respectfully requests memorial donations be made to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, PO Box 834, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. (www.trfinc.org
Arrangements are under the direction of Sweet's Funeral Home, Inc., Rte. 9, Hyde Park.
To send an online condolence or for directions, please visit www.sweetsfuneralhome.com
Happy Trails Bob….Until we meet again……
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Published by Poughkeepsie Journal from Feb. 21 to Feb. 23, 2015.