Funeral services for E. Allen Murray Jr., a prominent Maryland thoroughbred horse breeder and owner and lifelong Harford County resident, will be held on Monday, Aug. 19, at Zellman Funeral Home in Havre de Grace at 11 a.m.
Visitation will be Sunday, Aug. 18, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the funeral home, 123 S. Washington St. Interment will be in Havre de Grace's Angel Hill Cemetery.
Mr. Murray, who was 80, was born and raised in Havre de Grace. He died Aug. 13 at Murmur Farm in Darlington, which he and his wife Audrey originally established in Churchville in 1961 and relocated to Darlington in 1988. The Murrays also bought Berkley Farm in Darlington in 2004, where Mr. Murray established a horse training center with a state-of-the-art racetrack his family said he considered his finest engineering accomplishment.
Murmur Farm bred and raced many important stakes winning horses. The Murrays were respected by colleagues for maintaining a strong commitment to Maryland's breeding and racing industry, even in the bleakest economic times. Allen Murray served for many years on the boards of directors of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and Maryland Million Ltd.
Their stable has had a number of Maryland Million winners. Their stallion roster has included Our Emblem, sire of 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem, and the 1996 Preakness winner Louis Quatorze, who was voted Maryland's top stallion in 2005 and whose son Regal Solo won the Maryland Million Classic. The Murrays and Louis Quatorze were honored during the Maryland Horse Breeders Association annual awards dinner that was held in Havre de Grace in April 2006.
Mr. Murray said many times that he fell in love with the sport of horse racing while growing up near the old Havre de Grace Race Track that closed around the time he graduated from Havre de Grace High School. He and his wife, who was from Perryman, were high school sweethearts.
Allen Murray graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in electrical engineering and worked as an electrical engineer at Aberdeen Proving Ground, retiring in 1989 after a career of more than 30 years. According to his family, his lifelong love of horses took him from riding in horse shows with his wife when they were teenagers to building up their formidable breeding and racing stable and serving as a prominent spokesman and advocate for the Maryland breeding industry.
In addition to Audrey, his beloved wife of 58 years, Mr. Murray is survived by his children and grandchildren: Kent Murray and wife, Donna, and their children, Sean, Kimberly and Michelle; Stuart Murray and wife, Janet, and their daughter, Kathryn; Carolyn Murray Berger, and her children, Amanda, Ryan, Brenden and Kyle Berger; a great-granddaughter, Vanessa Berger; a brother, Richard Murray and three sisters, Sharon Ferrell, Carol McGowan and Mary Holt. A brother, James Murray, predeceased him.
Donations may be made to the Maryland Horsemen's Assistance Fund, 500 Redland Court, Suite 105, Owings Mills, MD 21117 or the Maryland Heart Association.