Jeff Coady, racing photographer, dead at 62
Jeff Coady, who with his brother, Jack, owned and operated one of the largest and most respected winner’s circle photography companies in racing, died Monday night, according to a family member. He was 62.
Coady died at his home in Luling, Texas, after a valiant battle with cancer. Services are pending, but are expected to be held in Phoenix, where Coady was born. A memorial is expected to be held at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.
Coady Photography has contracts at more than 20 tracks in North America. The company was started by Jack Coady Sr., in 1962, at Turf Paradise in Phoenix. Jack Coady, Sr., died in 2008.
Jeff Coady was a beloved fixture in the winner’s circles at a host of tracks, including Colonial Downs, Keeneland, and Oaklawn. He was a racing enthusiast who cared deeply for the welfare of the sport and its people. During the Oaklawn season, Coady was often out before dawn, taking pictures of Triple Crown hopefuls training in Hot Springs. His work graced not only thousands of promotional materials for the tracks with which he had contracts, but it also appeared regularly in numerous publications, including Daily Racing Form.
Coady’s professionalism helped grow his family’s business, moving the Arizona-based firm into markets like Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia. He quietly employed a small army of individuals connected to racing, from exercise riders to jockeys’ wives to the working-age children of trainers. In them, he helped cultivate a passion for equine photography. Coady was also quietly a very generous man, not only to his employees, but to charitable causes, particularly fundraisers for those in racing.
He is to be honored later this fall at the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame gala at Retama Park.
Coady’s family was a constant presence beside him in his final months. His survivors include his wife, Nelda, and his sons, Shawn, Kurtis, Kevin and Christopher.
Jack Coady will continue to operate the family business with the help of his nephews.
As for Jeff Coady, he will live on in his images of the sport. They can be found adorning racetrack walls, in offices of owners and fans, and in the dormitories of stable hands from Arapahoe Park to Zia.