Hightstown, NJ – Waco Hanover, whose longevity led to stardom well after his career on the racetrack concluded, died Saturday (Feb. 9) at the age of 42. The CBS Sunday Morning Show, which two years ago featured Waco Hanover and his relationship with caretaker Donnie MacAdams, reported Waco Hanover’s passing on its Facebook page Monday (Feb. 11).
A son of Tar Heel out of Wanda Hanover, Waco Hanover was owned by Everett Kettler of Vermont. Kettler bought the gelding in 1983 at the age of 6 and spent the summers racing Waco Hanover at the fairs in New England. Following Waco Hanover’s retirement from racing at the age of 14 in 1991, Kettler retained ownership of the horse and maintained his share of a farm where Waco Hanover resided for the remainder of his life.
Waco Hanover was among the horses featured in the book Standardbred Old Friends, published in 2014, by author Ellen Harvey and photographer Barbara Livingston.
“There was something in his efforts that inspired tenacity in my life,” Kettler told Harvey. “Perhaps I appreciated Waco because of a common trait. Or maybe he inspired tenacity that wouldn’t have been available without his life intermingling with mine.”
During the latter part of Waco Hanover’s life, the gelding was looked after by MacAdams, who cared for Kettler’s horses. The story of their relationship appeared on CBS Sunday Morning in January 2017. Two months later, MacAdam’s was a guest of former Sen. Bill Bradley on his Sirius XM show “American Voices.”
To watch the CBS Sunday Morning Show story, click here.
To read an excerpt of Waco Hanover’s story from Standardbred Old Friends, which appeared in 2014, click here.