Carol Culp, the beloved wife of the late Thoroughbred trainer Harvey Culp, passed quietly at home April 11 surrounded by family and loving friends. Born July 23, 1933 in Peterborough, N.H., she was the first daughter of Norman and Kay Hall. Culp is survived by her daughters Charlene (Tony) Weber of Dousman, Wisc., and Cathleen (Louis) Martin of Rush, Colo., five grandchildren – Lindsey, Austin, Danica, Kelsey and Allie, and siblings Bill (Ruth) Hall, Dr. Pete (Patty) Hall, John (Devi) Hall, and Holly Hall.
Culp was the first female to receive a license as an exercise rider on the tracks throughout New England in the early 1950s. She was well known throughout the Midwestern tracks for her great smile and loving personality.
Culp’s involvement in the horse industry began at an early age in the hunter/jumper arena. Bringing home several Maclay Medals and earning the opportunity to compete at the National Horse Show were just a few of her many accomplishments. When she was 10 years old, Culp was considered to fill the role of a stunt double for Elizabeth Taylor in the great movie, National Velvet. Her expert coaching and tenacity ultimately led her to the racing world.
She was very passionate about the sport of racing, and even more passionate about the people who devoted their lives to these magnificent animals. Culp always had time to speak with the people who made the business tick, from the hot walkers, to the trainers, veterinarians, and owners. Each contact she made was a chance for her to show God’s love.
The Hall family has extensive ties to the Thoroughbred industry. Culp’s father Norman was a full-time horseman who was a frequent judge at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden, a Thoroughbred breeder and huntsman for the Norfolk Hunt Club. The Norman Hall Stakes at Suffolk Downs was run annually in East Boston.
Three of Carol’s four siblings continue to be involved in the horse industry. Dr. Pete Hall is a veterinarian who was stabled at Monmouth Park for over 25 years before “retiring” to join the Keeneland selections team. Dr. Hall was the attending veterinarian for Holy Bull. John Hall worked with Taylor Made Farm for over 20 years where he and his team raised the 2015 Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah during his yearling year. Holly Hall runs an equine boarding facility at the location of the original Hall Family homestead in Massachusetts. Bill Hall may not have walked the path of a horseman but became a highly esteemed geophysicist. Culp’s legacy lives on as generations of her family continue to be involved in the horse industry.
Culp will be remembered for her selfless nature, embracing love and devotion to her faith and family. All of five feet in stature, she may have been little but she was fierce. A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, July 28 at St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Norfolk, Mass.
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