Famed horse trainer, owner of North Smithfield farm, dies of septic shock at 74

Kathy and Robert Raymond outside the paddock at Tampa Bay Downs

OLDSMAR, Fla. – The owner of a North Smithfield farm who went on to train horses for the Tampa Bay Downs died of septic shock this week at the age of 74.

Robert A. “Bobby” Raymond died on Sunday, May 8 after reportedly getting bacteria in a wound at a Florida beach.

Raymond, a Woonsocket native, owned Bobkat Stable farm in North Smithfield with his wife, Kathy Raymond. He began training horses in 1979 at Suffolk Downs in Boston and later went on to Tampa Bay.

Over a 43-year career, Raymond would train 1,294 winners. Two standouts were Technically Wicked, who earned $221,195 from 15 wins and 15 seconds, and Dreamed a Dream, who earned $221,177 from 10 victories, according to Tampa Bay Downs. He also mentored the late jockey Jill Jellison, who rode 1,913 winners before dying of breast cancer in 2015.

In March of this year, Raymond was named trainer of the month by Salt Rock Tavern.

According to a release on his death, Raymond had gone to the beach with his wife and waded into the water with a small cut on his leg, and bacteria entered the open wound. He would die two days later at Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor.

Health officials have reportedly said that the type of infection that took Raymond’s life is rare.

Raymond is survived by his wife, son and two brothers.

His brother Fred still cares for the family farm, a 17-acre property at the end of Lamoureaux Boulevard.

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