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A Horse lover passes

May 27, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

by Michael Costanzo

Emerald Downs, Auburn, WA (May 27) - When Norms' Nephew heads to the post on Monday for the $40,000 FSN Handicap, it will be without his and trainer Jimmy Orr's best friend.

Sherri Stevenson, a longtime stable area devotee, collapsed at the barn May 21 and died shortly after, according to Orr.

"Sherri made an amazing connection with horses," Orr said. "She was like a horse whisperer in that way. Norm will do fine, but I wish she was going to be there."

Stevenson worked at Emerald Downs since the beginning in 1996 and spent her last two years with Orr as a groom and an assistant.

"We feuded like brother and sister," Orr said. "Then five minutes later it was over. She was like family."

Orr said he first met Stevenson when he was galloping horses for trainer Peggy Beven at Longacres.

"I worked with her first when she was a kid, about 17," Orr said. "She was my co-worker and my best friend."

A memorial is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31, at the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association facility located at 3220 Emerald Downs Drive. Stevenson was 45 years old.