Heard began training thoroughbred race horses at the age of 19. His career lasted seven decades. From 1937-2008, he had 9,033 starts, 1,655 wins, he placed in 994 and showed in 965. In 1995, Heard ran “Built for Pleasure” in the Kentucky Derby. When Tommy’s death was announced at Calder Race Track in Miami, the response was “They don’t make them like that anymore.” Heard was the last of a dying breed, the last of the old time horsemen. He will be missed and loved forever.
He will also be remembered for his many philanthropic donations through the James J. Colt Foundation.
Tommy was survived by his wife, Jane Heard of Miami, Fl.; three daughters, Pamela Heard Freeman of Beeville, Vaughan Heard of Miami, Fl. and Dr. Karen Heard Schurmann of Santa Monica, CA.; step-daughter, Alina Soto of Miami, Fl.; step-brother, Bob Rand of Piedmont, CA; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 11, 2011, at Galloway & Sons Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Trey Heard Little officiating.
Those serving as pallbearers were, Mike Hale, Mason Hale, Vince Little, Bill Freeman, Ross Ballard and Luke Little. Interment followed at Oakwood Cemetery in Refugio, TX.