Exhibiting Belair


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William Woodward, Sr.

William Woodward, Sr.
April 7, 1876-September 26, 1953

William Woodward, Sr. was the proprietor of Belair Stud Farm from 1910 until his death in 1953. Born in New York on April 7, 1876, Mr. Woodward graduated from Groton, Harvard and Harvard Law School. In 1901, he served as attache to Joseph Choate, Ambassador to the Court of St. James. In 1904, he married Elsie Cryder and the couple had five children: Edith, Elizabeth, Sara, Ethel and William, Jr. (Billy). Mr. Woodward served as president of Central Hanover Bank for 19 years, was director of the Federal Reserve Board and was considered one of the 150 wealthiest men in the country.

Mr. Woodward's lifelong interest in Thoroughbred horses began at age 11 when he first attended a horse race with his father at Jerome Park in New York. In 1910, Mr. Woodward inherited Belair from his uncle James, and with three $100 mares, a $60 stallion and $100 worth of stalls added to his uncle's estate, he lunched a forty-seven year racing enterprise. During the ensuing years, Mr. Woodward bred 92 winners of major American stakes races, including Triple Crown winners Gallant Fox and Omaha, and 1955 Horse of the Year Nashua. He sent many fine horses to England to race under trainer Cecil Boyd-Rochfort and was the second-leading owner in England in 1937. Mr. Woodward was elected to the Jockey Club in 1917 and served twenty years as Chairman of the Board of Stewards. In addition to his fine group of racing champions, Mr. Woodward amassed a collection of over 300 pieces of equine-related art. When he died in 1953, his wife Elsie donated more than 52 pieces to the Baltimore Museum of Art and provided the funds to add a new wing to the northwest corner of the museum. Today, the Woodward Wing permanently displays Mr. Woodward's lifelong passions of Thoroughbreds and art.

William Woodward, Sr.

Mr. Woodward on the cover of Time

Mr. Woodward known as Master of Belair