The Tennessee Walking Horse Industry Loses Icon Billy GrayNov 14th, 2016 | By The Scoop | Category: News, Obituaries
Webster Dictionary defines “icon” as a person who is very successful and admired. There’s no other walking horse trainer that fits this description better than Mr. Billy Gray, and when an icon passes, there is a great loss. Mr. Gray passed from this life very early on the morning of Wednesday, November2, 2016. He was surrounded by his beloved family.
Billy Allen Gray was born on March 17, 1937, in Gallatin, TN to Emory Reese and Willie Catherine Campbell Gray who preceded him in death. Others preceding in death are his wife, Hilda Anne Boze Gray and sister, Peggy Pitts.
Survivors include his son,Tim (Patti) Gray of Shelbyville; daughter, Kathryn Ann (Kenneth) Cook of Lewisburg; grandchildren, Chelsea (Dillon) Connor and Baylee Cook; great grandchildren, Noah Lambert and Isaiah Lambert.
Mr. Gray leaves behind a tremendous show record that many can only dream of. Over his 50 year career he frequented the winner’s circle numerous times as either an exhibitor or proud trainer. However, his legacy was born as he directed a total of four different horses to the World Grand Championship. In 1973, Delight’s Bummin’ Around carried Gray to his first World Grand Championship. His second journey to this title was in 1982 with Pride’s Secret Threat, and a third time in 1984 above Delight of Pride. The icon would make his final trip around the big oval in 2010 aboard World Grand Champion, The Coach.
Whether it was a weekend show or riding at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, Billy Gray earned the respect of other trainers, exhibitors and especially the fans. His kind smile and gentleman demeanor were noted by all who crossed his path. His accolades are many, but his greatest joy was spending time with his family. The Scoop sends our warmest condolences and prayerful thoughts of comfort to the Gray family.