Columbus, OH — William “Rick” Hartman, 64, of Tarlton, Ohio, died April 29, 2022, of complications resulting from his battle with cancer.
Mr. Hartman was born in Lancaster, Ohio, on Oct. 11, 1957, to William “Bill” Hartman and Nancy Soles Hartman. He grew up in the Bremen area and graduated from Fairfield Union High School in 1976.
His father, Bill, was involved in harness racing, and Mr. Hartman helped in the barn throughout his teens. He then worked as a groom for the Delvin Miller stable before starting as second trainer for his father in the Billy Jack stable. At Billy Jack, he broke and trained many nice horses, most notably B J Scoot, who was an Ohio Sires Stakes champion at two for Billy Jack, was sold, and went on to win the Little Brown Jug.
Following the dismantling of the Billy Jack stable and his father’s death in 1992, Mr. Hartman began operating his own small stable. Working with only 6-10 horses a year, he produced scores of useful racehorses and stakes colts. When a driver sat behind one of his trainees, they knew it would be well-mannered, rigged right, and ready to go. Some of his best, and favorite, horses were Miss Sensation, Goin Like Sam, Kaitie’s Fortune, and Roundtown Rocker, all Sires Stakes winners.
Mr. Hartman was helped in the barn by his wife, Tami Appleman Hartman, whom he married in 1997. They owned, bred, and raced their own trotters, and Tami served as second trainer for the stable. Their daughter, Kaitlin, also became involved, making the Hartman stable a truly family affair. Even while battling cancer, Mr. Hartman continued to train horses, working in the barn up until the week before his death.
He is survived by his wife, Tami; daughter, Kaitlin; sister, Cheryl (Gary) Arnett; parents-in-law, Ken and Marilyn Appleman; brothers-in-law, Ken (Priscilla) Appleman and Michael (Brittany) Ford; aunt, Karen Purcell; uncle, Bob (Becky) Soles; and nieces, Misty Arnett, Jenni Arnett, Angie Minks, and Samantha Bostic.
Visiting hours will be held Wednesday (May 4) from 5-8 p.m., at the Halteman-Fett and Dyer Funeral Home in Lancaster, Ohio. A funeral service will be held at the same location at 11 a.m. on Thursday (May 5).