The Tribute Arena
Arabian Horse Lover
September 15, 2009
Press Release: Arabian
Patrick Swayze, a passionate and valued
member of the Arabian horse community died from pancreatic cancer
complications at the age of 57.
Swayze was known to most as a dancer and actor in films such as "Dirty
Dancing," "Roadhouse" and "Ghost." To the Arabian
horse community he was an accomplished and giving horseman. An active
participant at Arabian shows throughout the late 80s and early 90s, Swayze's
star power helped bring attention to the Arabian breed. Swayze's true
passion for the horse earned him utmost respect in the horse community.
Although Swayze's bond with horses started as a child, he claimed he did not
fully realize the potential relationship with a horse until later.
"When you get a bond happening with a horse, it's interesting. I was
raised a cowboy and did some rodeo and stuff and thought I was a horseman.
Found out I knew nothing. As I have gotten into these horses, [Arabians] I
have realized how far you can go with them," said Swayze in a 1994
In 1991, the same year Swayze was named People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive,
he bought the stallion Tammen from Tom McNair and during the next year the
stallion was honored with several halter championships. "Over the years
it's happened — people gradually started seeing that I am serious about
this and I care more about the horses than my little image. I am accepted
now so going grand champion there was like a big event for me," said
Swayze owned more than a dozen purebred Arabians and became an active
breeder. Tammen, Swayze's 1982 Grand Champion stallion, sired 175 foals. A
photograph of Swayze with Tammen was made into a poster and established as a
youth fundraiser during the early 90s. The poster, now in limited supply,
continues to help fund AHA Youth Programs.
"We at the Arabian Horse Association and our some 35,000 members mourn
the loss of a great American icon, Patrick Swayze. He was an ardent lover of
the Arabian horse and his passion for the breed would always spill over into
the audience when he showed his beautiful horses — particularly with young
people. His close friends called him 'Buddy' and that sentiment seemed to
define his character, as I always found him to be a man of significant
humility and grace. The Arabian horse has lost a dear friend and our prayers
go out to his wife Lisa and family, and everyone who loved him. His
significant contributions to the Arabian horse will not be forgotten,"
said Lance Walters, Arabian Horse Association president.
Swayze is said to have passed away peacefully after facing the challenges of
his illness for the last 20 months.