Richard K. Tate
Richard “Dick” Kelty Tate passed away on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at Sheridan Memorial Hospital. Dick was born in Sheridan, Wyoming on February 2, 1951 with his twin brother, Hardy Tate to Robert “Bob” Tate and Aileen Hagen Tate. He spent his first four years on the Hagen Homestead in Otter Creek, Montana with his older brother Tom Tate and his sister, Mimi Tate. In 1955, the Tate family moved to Wymont Ranch in Sheridan, Wyoming where Dick spent an idyllic childhood with his brothers and sister, helping their parents breed, break and sell thoroughbred polo ponies, jumpers and race horses.Dick graduated from Sheridan High School in 1969 and then spent three years at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. He moved to California in 1973 to work for the Ken Schiffer family at Galway Downs racetrack in Temecula and then for trainer, Mel Stute on the Southern California racing circuit. In 1974, Dick headed to Belmont Park racetrack in Elmont, New York to work for Sidney Watters Jr., the Racing Hall of Fame trainer who saddled the champion colts Hoist the Flag and Slew o’ Gold. Between the years of 1976-1978, Dick worked for "Burley" Cocks, dean of American steeple chasing and a member of racing’s Hall of Fame based near Unionville, Pennsylvania where he groomed and rode Lucky Boy, a Colonial Cup winner.Dick started his training career at Yellowstone Downs in Billings, Montana and at Denver’s Centennial Race Track before setting up a stable at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley, California. During his career, the two best horses trained by Dick, both bred by the Ken Schiffer family of The Hat Ranch West and owned by The Hat Ranch, were Summer Sale (Won 1989 Hollywood Turf Express Handicap and Won 1990 Rich Cream Handicap, both at Hollywood Park) and Arvada (2 nd in 1992 Round Table Handicap at Bay Meadows, 2 nd in 1993 Dormello Stakes at Golden Gate, 2 nd in 1993 Tiburon Handicap at Golden Gate). Dick left California in 1994 and moved to New York where he worked for the IRT shipping horses around the world and working at the annual Breeders Cup at bothSanta Anita Park in Arcadia, California and Churchill Downs in Lexington, Kentucky. Although Dick retired to Wymont Ranch in 2002, he spent a significant amount of time living in London with his partner, Alexandra Oakes, where they had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia Pacific.From an early age Dick took a serious interest in sports. He began logging players’ statistics and sharing this information with other sports fans. As the years went on, his interest grew not only in team sports but also in the horse industry. Dick had an amazing mind for numbers and the ability to retain all sorts of information and facts.This innate gift enabled him to list horse lineages and breeding data for generations of horses. He knew the performance times of racehorses from race tracks all over the world.Dick was larger than life in the true sense of the word, a true conversationalist and a great story teller. He was the life of the party, feisty, opinionated, fiercely loving, steadfast and well read. He hosted countless visitors to Wymont Ranch from all parts of the world. The world is less bright and vibrant without him.Dick was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2002 and was a cancer survivor. In 2015, he lost part of his lung to Nocardosis, a bacterium found in soil or standing water and suffered from pulmonary fibrosis. Despite these health setbacks, Dick kept an extremely positive outlook, his rare sense of humour and never complained. He was a man with many, many lives and each year his goal was to live through another University of Wyoming Cowboys football season (thank you Chris Meyer, Coach Bohl and Josh Allen)!Dick is survived by the love of his life, Alexandra “Alex” Key Oakes; sister, Mimi (Jim Smith); twin brother, Hardy (Patsy); niece, Martha; sister-in-law, Susie Davies Tate; first cousins, Harry Allen (Ellen) and Frank Hagen (Reni). He is pre-deceased by his parents, Robert “Bob” and Aileen Hagen Tate and brother, Tom Tate.In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to The Hub on Smith Street, 211 Smith Street, Sheridan, Wyoming 82801. Upon his request, there will be no funeral service.Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.