Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Kelly McDaniel, who was a mainstay of Airdrie Stud, dies at 56; graveside service Thur. in Midway Cemetery

Kelly McDaniel with an Airdrie Stud stallion
Kelly Dean McDaniel, who was stallion manager at Airdrie Stud near Midway for 32 years before retiring in 2017, died Sunday, Oct. 18, of cancer. He was 56.

McDaniel was "known for his affable character and great love of the history of the land on which Airdrie was built," the Thoroughbred Daily News reported.

“Kelly was one of the all-time originals,” Bret Jones of Airdrie told TDN. “He, of course, took wonderful care of his horses, but I think Kelly’s incredible storytelling is how he impacted so many people. He loved giving tours of Airdrie to anyone with even a hint of interest and they always walked away so grateful for the experience. 

Jones said his father, former Gov. Brereton Jones, “always said that Kelly got more fan mail at the farm than any horse or human that set foot here. He loved talking to people and took great joy in teaching them something they didn’t know. I think he knew more about the history of this land than anyone named Jones. We have been so lucky to have had Kelly in our lives, and our Airdrie family sends our deepest condolences to all those fortunate enough to have known and loved him.”

McDaniel is survived by his brother, Kenneth D. McDaniel Jr. of Midway; a nephew, Doug McDaniel, and great nieces and nephew, Sara and Seth Coomer and Lily McDaniel. 

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at Midway Cemetery, with Clark Legacy Center in charge. Serving as honorary casketbearers will be Woods Reeves, Carl Sayre, John W. McDaniel and James A. McDaniel. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Bluegrass.

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