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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

RIP to Ole Bach ...

by Peter Lawrence, VFTRG Contributor
Lots of people have lots of memories about the late horseman and bloodstock agent Ole Bach, who passed away recently in a freak pedestrian traffic accident in Lexington, Kentucky.
Most of the stories told last week at Ole's funeral and memorial are probably better and more amusing than mine, told by friends who knew him better than I did, but a few brushes with Ole come to mind.
I met him when he was training for Per Eriksson in 1985, the year Prakas won the Hambletonian, the Breeders Crown and lots of other big races.
The very next year, Ole was with Per Henriksen when that Per won the Hambo with Nuclear Kosmos.
Much later, in 2011, it was yet another Hambletonian Day, this time Broad Bahn's victory. I believe Ole, a bloodstock agent by that time, decked out in a jacket and tie that afternoon, had picked out Broad Bahn for Danish interests - Ole was Danish - and he was as happy as a little kid that day in the winner's circle.
Finally, there were two different instances connected with Sweden's transplanted star trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt.
Opening night at the new Meadowlands almost three years ago.
"There's two people here you're going to want to know," Ole said. "Meet Ake and Sarah Svanstedt." And we all shared pleasantries for a few minutes.
Finally, the following spring, in April or so, I visited Svanstedt's newly purchased Legends Farm near Fort Dix here in New Jersey. There were only a handful of horses on the grounds - one was the great Sebastian K., who hadn't qualified yet - with the bulk of the stable still with Ake in Florida.
I'm looking around, and who's the greeting committee? Son of a gun, it was Ole, who was there helping to set the farm up with Ake's assistant Bernie Noren.
"Let me show you around," said Ole, who was as helpful and accomodating as always (and it wasn't even his farm).
Those attributes were his calling card.
And speaking of calling card, I've had one of Ole Bach's business cards in my pocket for several years. Two cards, in fact, for some reason. One is pictured here.

Over the years, it seemed like Ole was everywhere, shaking hands, introducing people to new people, making phone calls, making deals.
Ole Bach was a go-getter, a hustler in the best sense of the word.
I'll miss him. And friends and family who knew him better than I did will surely miss him even more.
Rest in peace, Ole

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