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Longtime California Trainer Retherford Passes At Age 82
N. J. “Skip” Retherford, who trained thoroughbred racehorses in California from 1968 to 1993, died Friday after a three-year battle with cancer.
Mr. Retherford, 82, passed at the Castro Valley home of his daughter, Kathy Gatterer, and son-in-law, Bill Gatterer. The couple cared for Mr. Retherford at their home throughout his bout with cancer.
A native of El Monte, California, Mr. Retherford got his start in horse racing working as an assistant for Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham in Southern California. Mr. Retherford took out his trainer’s license in 1968 and maintained a stable in Southern California for several years before moving his operation to Northern California in the mid-1970s.
Mr. Retherford trained stakes-winners Cari’s Story (winner of 1984 Bay Meadows Oaks), Lulugal (1981 Vallejo Stakes at Golden Gate Fields), and Les Aspres (1981 Seabiscuit Invitational Handicap at Bay Meadows). Also an owner and breeder, Mr. Retherford owned and operated Oak Knoll Farms in Oakdale, California, from
1979-1990 and stood the stallion Battle Call.
In addition to Kathy and Bill Gatterer, Mr. Retherford is survived by daughters Terry Garcia and Stacie Retherford-Marrero, son Roland Retherford, and eight grandchildren.
A memorial is pending.
In lieu of flowers, Mr. Retherford’s family asks that donations be made to Dusty Paws Rescue (P.O. Box 2794, Castro Valley, CA, 94546). Dusty Paws is where Mr. Retherford found his dog Pearl, who was a trusty companion throughout his illness.