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Robert G. Farrington
Robert G. FarringtonRambling WillieHall of Fame horseman Robert G. Farrington, 85, died Oct 13, 2014 at his home in Florida from a heart attack.
† † Bob had no idea what was in store for him when he quit his job as a brick mason. He only knew he enjoyed training and driving horses and wanted to devote himself to it full time. He had a knack for getting lame horses back on the track. He drove his first race at Piketon Fairgrounds in Ohio. His first pari- mutual win was in 1955 at Hilliard Raceway with a horse called Grand Martha.
† † †Bob became the leading driver in the nation in 1961 and held that honor thru 1967 except in 1963 when he was sidelined with injuries for six weeks. He finished second that year just three wins shy of the leader. He was the first driver to win 200 races in a season and the first to win 300 races in a season. He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1978 and has also been named the Harness Horsemenís International Man of the Year. †He is in the Ohio and Illinois Hall of Fame. He also wrote a chapter in the Pacers and Trotters Guide about classifying horses.
† † Bob was about to retire when Rambling Willie came along and together they became a winning combination winning more races than any other horse in history (128) and Willie was the first horse to win more than $2,000,000. †Bob & Rambling Willie went on a book tour across the United States promoting the book ďThe Horse That God LovedĒ. They went to 28 cities in 32 weeks and drew record breaking crowds at each racetrack and shopping mall they went to.
† † Bob was also known for helping young horsemen get their start by allowing them to race horses for him. He said the making of a great driver was in the hands. He would say you either have the hands and a soft touch or you donít. †He will always been known for his quick wit, smile and laugh. He never met a stranger and loved his family.
† †Bob was born on July 15, 1929 to Louie and Francis Farrington whom are both deceased. Bob was raised in the Richwood and Rushsylvania area. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Vivian (Harris) Farrington. They had one daughter, Karen (Joe) Ewing of Richwood; three grandchildren, Gail Curran and Jack Curran both of Joliet, Illinois, Justin Curran of Delaware; three great grandchildren, Nik Kosanovic, Emma Kosanovic and Jackson Curran; sisters Marilyn (Tom) Pugh, Sue (Floyd) Carpenter both of West Mansfield, and bother Richard (Dorothy) Farrington of Longwood, Fla. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews and many who thought of him as a second father. †He was preceded in death by brothers Rod and Brad Farrington.
† †The family will receive friends on Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014 from 1 to 5 PM at the Stofcheck-Ballinger Funeral Home, Richwood. †Funeral services will be Monday, Oct. 20 at 1:00 PM at the funeral home with Pastor Matthew Craig officiating. †Burial will follow in York Cemetery. †Memorial gifts may be made to Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, 240 Main St. Goshen, NY 10924; or Christian Harness Horsemenís Association, 157 N. Main St., Salem, NH 03079 for the Rambling Willie Scholarship.
† †Condolences and remembrances may be expressed at www.stofcheck-ballinger.com

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#1 from: Lynne Ledley
Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Karen, so sorry to hear of your father's sudden passing.  I saw you and Joe at Carlyle's last night and spoke to Joe but you were on the phone.  Todd told us at the meeting that your father had passed away.  My thoughts and prayers with you during this difficult time.

#2 from: Becky Jacobs Rynders
Abilene, TX
Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Vivian, Karen & family, Judy & family
Thoughts and prayers are with you. Bob's mother Francis was one of my Mom's best friends.

#3 from: Nancy Meister
Seminole, Florida
Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 4:59 PM

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

#4 from: Darren and Karla Wygle
Raymond, Ohio
Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 6:15 PM

To Sue Carpenter and your family, we send our prayers and condolences, we are sorry for your loss.

#5 from: Karen Elaine Landon
†Ft. Pierce, Fl.
Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 7:54 PM

Vivian, Karen, Joe & Family,
  May you find comfort in the many Special Memories of one you loved so much.
With Deepest Sympathy.

#6 from: Marilyn Adams Coleman
United States
Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 7:09 AM

Karen, I am sorry for your loss.  Your Dad was an inspiration to many not just in the racing world.  It was wonderful that he lived so long.  I know you will enjoy the memories forever.

#7 from: Jim Harris
Warsaw Indiana
Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 8:06 AM

So sorry to hear about Bob.  He was definitely one of a kind.  I have some great stories that I still tell about the glory days of his horse racing career.  We will keep all of you in our prayers and wish everyone Gods speed.

With our sympathy.

Jim and Beth Harris

#8 from: Joe Adelsberger
Rogersville, TN
Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 1:46 PM

He was a great man who loved horses.  It is good that he and Rambin' Willie are back together again.  My deepest condolences to the family on such a loss.  

#9 from: Arlette Johan, Martin Johan
Mokena, IL 60448
Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 4:00 PM

I am sorry to see Bob go  at this early age. We kidded each other because he was 2  months younger than myself. Arlette and I extend our sympathy to the Farrington family.

#10 from: R.K. Davis
Boulder, CO
Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Bob Farrington and I were born just a year apart almost to the day, with his birth on July 15,'29 and mine on July 18,'28.  My Dad, Ken Davis hailed from York Center and was well acquainted with Bob's Dad, Louie Farrington.  Louie hauled stock for us and other farmers in the Richwood area. One always knew when Louie was around.  Bob was quiet by comparison.  There were a lot of Farringtons to keep track of in the Richwood school system of that time.  One could not have foreseen their success and impact on harness racing but they became a major presence and still have some members in the sport. I hear about the Farringtons exploits from older members of the Iowa harness racing community where I have some horses racing. Bob's story is truly remarkable and one to make Richwood proud.  I remember being proud of his accomplishments in those days as I read about them in the Richwood Gazette. May he be long remembered as one of Richwood's outstanding sons.  

#11 from: Rich Thorstenson - CHHA
Marysville, OH
Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Our condolences and deepest sympathy to Vivian and to the Farrington Family.  God Bless all of you for all that you done in supporting CHHA over the years.
You and Rambling Willie(the horse that God loved)is what made us what we are today.

God Bless You
Rich Thorstenson - CHHA

#12 from: Lee Shalgos
Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of Bob. My memory of him always is uplifting and brings a smile to my face whenever I'm reminded of his exploits on and off the track.  I shall keep Vivian and the family in my prayers.

Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Bob Cahill and Bob Farrington are now having a wonderful time in heaven.. Heaven Rejoices with these Hellians!!!!  Farringtons and Cahills were friends forever.Sad to say not many of us remain. I remember watching Willie.  Bob Cahill went to see him final time in Lexington complete with a peach pie.  Bob Farrington and Willie were quite the winning combo.  Fond Memories indeed.

#14 from: Ben Wessels
Balmoral Park
Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Dear Karen,  Please accept my most sincere sympathy.  Many years ago you provided to me many momentos of Rambling Willie and your Dad.  I was proud to put them on display this week at Balmoral Park.  I would like to send you a photograph of the display if you would provide me with your email.  I have many fond memories of Bob racing Willie in Illinois and especially at Balmoral Park.  Vivian was responsible for me getting an autograph on my personal copy of the "Book" on Bob's last visit to Balmoral.  What a wonderful life!!!!!  Ben Wessels

#15 from: Sue (Waugh) Wright
Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Karen, Sad to hear this news. Will be thinking of you and your family.

#16 from: Kathleen (Kelly) Hess-Williams
Pinehurst, NC 28315
Sat, Nov 1, 2014 at 4:34 AM

Bob Farrington lives large in my memory. I was a young groom who worked for both Bob & Dick some years in Lexington, KY in the fall for the Tattersalls sale. Bob had an easy smile, great humor,  and was so very kind to me. I worked for Dick Hogan & Bill Wall In Illinois & moved between Sportsmans, Maywood, Washington Park, & Balmoral. I followed Ramblin Willie's race career closely and watched them race anywhere I could. When Bob and Willie came onto a track... it ALWAYS made me smile, a BIG smile. I felt like i was part of it and I don't know why. I hope to meet you in heaven one day, Mr Farrington ...May God bless your Wife and family.

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