California icon Bill Vallandingham, 74, dies

Sacramento, CA — California harness racing Hall of Fame member Bill Vallandingham, 74, died April 4, 2021, due to complications from a lung transplant he had seven years ago.

Billy V, as he was affectionately known, was the starter at Cal Expo for 20 years before health issues forced him to leave the job in 2014, but he did return to limited duties at the Sacramento track in 2018.

He wore many hats around the racetrack, including groom, paddock judge, horse identifier and horse tattooer before assuming his stint as the starter in 1994.

Mr. Vallandingham was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam.

Cal Expo plans a memorial this coming Saturday (April 10).

Back to Top

Share via