Edward S,”Ned” Bonnie, a prominent attorney, horseman and regulator in Kentucky, died on Saturday night in Louisville. He was 88 years old.
A graduate of the Hotchkiss School, Yale University and Yale Law School, Mr. Bonnie was retired from a long and distinguished career as attorney for Frost, Brown, Todd, LLC. He concentrated his practice in the area of equine law, acting as counsel for owners, trainers, veterinarians, jockeys, feedmen, blacksmiths and others in the horse business. He was the attorney for Peter S. Fuller, for years fighting the disqualification of Dancer's Image from victory in the 1968 Kentucky Derby for a positive finding for Bute. He also was counsel for the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association in the 1970s and helped draft the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978, guaranteeing horsemen's approval for interstate wagering.
Mr. Bonnie's love of horses guided his legal career, as well as his personal life. Bonnie owned, broke, trained, and rode hunters, jumpers and steeplechasers, and with his wife, Cornelia “Nina” Winthrop Bonnie, owned and operated a 530-acre horse and cattle farm in Oldham County, Kentucky.
Mr. Bonnie was affiliated with a number of professional organizations, including Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association; Kentucky Thoroughbred Association; The Jockey Club; and United States Equestrian Federation. Mr. Bonnie was an advisor to the NTRA/Jockey Club Drug Testing Consortium; he served on the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council; the University of Kentucky Equine Research Foundation; and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, among other prominent positions.
Mr. Bonnie was a recipient of the Keene Daingerfield Award for substantial contributions to the education and professionalism of Stewards and Judges by the Equine Industry Program of the University of Louisville. He and wife Nina received a Lifetime Achievement Award for the Advancement of Equestrian Sports from the United States Equestrian Federation. In 2016, he was inducted into the American College of Equine Attorneys Hall of Fame (an organization he helped found and of which he was a Fellow). In 2012, Mr. Bonnie was awarded the first Edward S. Bonnie Award (named for him), for Outstanding Kentucky Equine Lawyer for 2012, established by the Kentucky Bar Association, Equine Law Section.
On Saturday in Virginia, a horse carried Mr. Bonnie's forest green and black-striped silks to victory in a steeplechase race.
Mr. Bonnie is survived by Nina, Shelby (married to Carol), Robert (married to Julie Gomena) and four grandchildren, Mason, Henry, Virginia and Lilly.
Services will be on April 2, 2018, at St. Matthews Episcopal Church (330 N. Hubbards Lane, Louisville, KY 40207), with visitation at 10:00 a.m. and the Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Community Foundation of Louisville's Edward S. Bonnie Endowment to benefit the Legal Aid Society.
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